Peas before the Snow 

for Jenifer Nicodemus

It’s cold outside, and waist-deep.
Things I can’t say
the forecast is calling for never happened
and I don’t care to remember.
Currently the sky is clear, with a chance of good people.

I can’t shoo away that old groundhog, no.
He’s as old as the snow that falls gently
(such a graceful thing!
until the sun shines, and it plops down in chunks like graceless angels
bereft of their wings).

The earth is there to catch them.
The earth is always there.

I’ll plant my peas and step away,
for the earth will take me and my peas.
For now, I’ll plant
anticipating growth.


Día de los Muertos

after Papa Bear

I pray that you are surrounded
by sugar skulls and roses,

that the call of the living
beckons, that we can say Hello again,

without calling you back from a shore
in Mexico, where you are warm and tanned

and watching the shrimp boats bask
on the horizon


The Finality of Returning

You came back to me
in a pink, heart-shaped box, of paper,
much like my own heart, but
so light.
How, I wondered, can you fit

an entire life, into a box this size, and why
does it weigh so little?

In the garden, with the cats and dogs now deep in the soil and gone
to the roots
I stood, in all my foolishness, downwind
where powdered bits of bone and eye and laugh and sickness blew back in my face,
stuck to my skin, dusted my hair, with the taste of something bitter.
Bitter and listless.

I think I should remember the weather: whether
it was sunny or cold or if the sky was clear. But all I know is that it did not rain
and I was standing downwind
in snow.


Elizabeth Macula is a queer, autistic woman living in Tacoma, WA.

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