Born in winter my new
born daughter has never seen
the spring. Squinting
at the cold window pane,
she hasn’t felt the sun clamber
into her lap like an old dog,
a young rabbit. Winter
breezes clamp down, bear
trapped bassinet. Enter
her blood, her ice-floed bird bath.
Now the whole earth airs out
the creases in her neck, her groin,
her rolls of leg fat. Spring
breezes dogear the corner of the page
I’m writing to my daughter
about the spring
while ancient leaves tumble
in the air around me,
whispering secrets and promises
I’ve never heard spoken
in my thirty odd years, the tinkle
of chimes, charisma of heat,
warm breath nibbling an earlobe,
hyacinths spiraling away
their runaway green wheels
of tongues in the burnt-out flowerbed
I once believed was real.
About the Poet
Cameron Morse was diagnosed with a glioblastoma in 2014. With a 14.6 month life expectancy, he entered the Creative Writing Program at the University of Missouri—Kansas City and, in 2018, graduated with an M.F.A. His poems have been published in numerous magazines, including New Letters, Bridge Eight, Portland Review and South Dakota Review. His first poetry collection, Fall Risk, won Glass Lyre Press’s 2018 Best Book Award. His latest is Baldy (Spartan Press, 2020). He lives with his wife Lili and two children in Blue Springs, Missouri, where he serves as poetry editor for Harbor Review. For more information, check out his Facebook page or website.
For the first time in nearly five years, Vita Brevis is closed for submission. Read the full story here.