Poetry is meant to stir us into recognition—not of the specifics, but of emotions we share as humans sharing this earth. Here, Kimberly Cloutier Green shows us with deft hand how we are creatures of overlooking and later longing. May her label of Late Winter be a prediction of a soon-to-be spring. —Ed.


Quince in Late Winter

By Kimberly Cloutier Green

They’re still there beneath this snow—rings of quince
I let fall and spoil at the base of that bush—self-giving fruit
that grew to a weight unbearable.

If I saw it last summer, I saw it as a hulking mass of shaggy limbs
overgrowing the woodpile—eyesore, weed.
Even the scattershot blossoms (coral-colored? honey-scented?)
must have struck me then as aberration.      

But there were birds, song and rustle of them
deep within the leaves and thorns—myriad birds!
Still, their small bodies, like the ripening quince, went unseen.

Now, the white field. Time of incipience.
The quince before its slow-waking thirst—
ink-dark boughs, splayed in all directions,
and the trunk a black forest of trunks,

a spindly armature, but frame enough
for what it will bear again—leaf and bud and bird and flower,
then the gold-swelling  fruit ripe for picking.


Printed with permission of the author.

Kimberly GreenKimberly Cloutier Green lives in Kittery Point, Maine. She is a poet, teacher, and spiritual director affiliated with Bethany House of Prayer in Arlington, MA. Her chapbook What Becomes of Words was published by the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Connecticut, and her poems have appeared in several journals, including Mid-American Review, The Café Review, The Comstock Review, Presence, Vineyards, and The Anthology of New England Writers. Ms. Green was selected in 2005 for the Maine Community Foundation’s Martin Dibner Fellowship in Poetry, and she is a recent MacDowell Artist Colony Fellow and Pushcart Prize nominee. Her first full-length collection of poems, The Next Hunger, is being published by Bauhan Publishing, Peterborough, NH, this spring.

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  • ellen sue spicer-jacobson March 18, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Dear Kimberly,
    I am going to be in Maine in the fall of 2013, near Portland. Could I interview you for my website, http://www.menupause.info?
    ellen sue