In Defense of Confusion
Weather this winter is unreasonable,
both in North Carolina and in my hometown.
In the church my nephew pastors,
provisions have been made
for those who cannot remain in their homes.
I remember the February we drove to Joplin
in a blizzard. My mother died
at age 91. The next year—while hospitalized—
I set off my heart monitor, brushing my teeth
in a bathroom whose shower was useless,
without a curtain. The rain has stopped now,
but my senses roar. The Pope is right, men and
women are different. But why women have
hormonal hot flashes until they are eighty
remains unanswered, by him or anyone else.
Made from water and unrequited longing,
I speak in defense of much earthly confusion,
in glory of rain, in love with my God.
Wintering Birds Take Flight
So much about winter seems obvious.
So much about winter is true.
Small bits of hopscotch logic are tucked
into the hem of my rambling reverie..
Wind is cold, mittens warm.
Sky that holds flurries by day
held a star of prophetic wonder.
Events get postponed but not Mass,
yet I don't leave home like I did
when younger. It's not safe.
I'm still watching birds at the feeder.
Can one actually spend
"too much time" watching God's creatures,
as a friend claimed she was?
Nothing can keep Jesus away.
So just how is
bird watching not worship
of a quieter hue?
A former English teacher, Helen Losse was educated at Missouri Southern State University (BSE, 1969), where she majored in secondary education and English and Wake Forest University (MALS, 2000), where she studied African American history and religion and creative writing. She is the author of six collections of poetry, and her poems have been anthologized inLiterary Trails of the North Carolina Piedmont, Kakalak 2014, and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VII: North Carolina. Her poems have been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize, and three times for a Best of the Net award, one of which was a finalist. The former Poetry Editor for The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, she is now an Associate Poetry Editor for Kentucky Review. Helen lives in Winston-Salem, NC with husband Bill, and is awaiting the May 2016 publication of Every Tender Reed, now available for advance order from Main Street Rag. http://mainstreetragbookstore.