Sharon Olds’ “The Winter After Your Death”


Sometimes you’re in a mood for moody poetry. Like in the last week of summer (not officially, but selfishly for a teacher about to return to the brick structure), reading about winter. I found this in Jane Hirshfield’s lovely collection of essays, Nine Gates.

The Winter After Your Death by Sharon Olds

The long bands of mellow light
across the snow
narrow slowly.
The sun closes her gold fan
and nothing is left but black and white–
the quick steam of my breath, the dead
accurate shapes of the weeds, still, as if
pressed in an album.
Deep in my body my green heart
turns, and thinks of you. Deep in the
pond, under the thick trap
door of ice, the water moves,
the carp hangs like a sun, its scarlet
heart visible in its side.


Lost Sherpa of Happiness.