Proofs

by Lesley Jenike

In winter it’s a lean snow that stacks itself. It’s a dog of a snow that grows its bent for drift and howls to stick. Look:

a man in a cranberry hoodie on Finley Street says, “Leave it!” to his pit bull, and the pit bull leaves it.

On the causeway above the ravine, one schoolboy attempts to prove to his friend that a feather will fall faster than a stone. He’s proven wrong, white goose feather in one hand, stone from the creek in the other, when on count of three, he lets them both go.

The stone of course plummets fastest while the feather—aping its past as a bird—hovers, flutters, glides and curls before it lands, so much later than the stone, it’s nearly spring—and not yet spring.

A neighbor somewhere revs his motorbike, which sounds like a backfiring gun, and the congregations that remain scatter and take wing.

Lesley Jenike’s collections include Ghost of Fashion (CW Books 2009) and Holy Island (Gold Wake Press 2014). Her poems have appeared in PoetryThe Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, Smartish Pace, Birmingham Poetry Review, and other journals. She lives in lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband Joshua and their new daughter Willa and is currently serving as Head of the English and Philosophy Department at the Columbus College of Art and Design.

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