Orphan Months, tanka sequence

A family breaks fast;
light breaks over the valley
as ice, melted sweet
from the barn roof, strikes the hard
thaw &            shatters,
                                                like a dream.


two stallions’ heads break
against their reins. White clouds,
breath steams from nostrils
& glows in the thin dawn light.
Their driver sings them onward–

an orphan girl robed
in snows – ghosting through the grey-
haired winter. Sleet seeds
her black hair & she is crowned
in permafrost.

Winter is dead,
orphan months. She’s the bald
nun in spare robes,
beckoning wayfarers
to sit by the fire of

a naked,
shiverwhite sun,
& dream

                                                of spring?

Ash Evan Lippert is a 32-year-old proud dad to two cats, a sourdough starter, and a scatter-brained husband. Their poetry and short fiction have been featured in Failed Haiku, Antithesis Common, and Clemson University’s literary journal Semantics. They are a certified expert in suffering, from maladies of both flesh and spirit, a condition which both informs their work and means they never do much of it.

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