- Love Poem
Lying with you after making love in the first hour of winter, my hand resting inside your thigh, I can't tell if the pulse I feel is yours or my own. It's morning, the sky ridged, a canyon scored by smoky thickenings, turbulent air mild for December. Yesterday we fed and watched the birds, their hunger, [End Page 134] ingenuity, avidly flocking to the porch, skidding down the railing's hill of snow. What barometric change turned us irritable, angry? The volatile weather of a long marriage, fluctuations, eddies: strain, misreadings. One cardinal's at the feeder now, in blue muted dawn, a note with the wild sweetness of a harsh Nordic symphony. Love and separation, alienation and communion. The ground freezes and thaws and freezes and will thaw again. Clouds thicken, darken, approach each other, massed gray battalions; behind them, the white light's startled patches.
Sandra Kohler was born in New York City in 1940. She attended Mount Holyoke College (AB, 1961) and Bryn Mawr College (AM, 1966, and PhD, 1971). From 1969 to 1976 she taught in the English department at Bryn Mawr College. Since then, she has taught literature and writing courses at levels ranging from elementary school to university and adult education. Her work has been widely published in journals such as American Poetry Review, the Colorado Review, the Gettysburg Review, the New Republic, and the Southern Review. Her first collection of poems, The Country of Women, was published in 1995 by Calyx Books. Her second collection, The Ceremonies of Longing, was the winner of the 2002 Associated Writing Programs Award Series in Poetry and was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2003.