Phyllis Klein

Snow Drifts Through the Living Room

…you who must leave everything
that you cannot control
It begins with your family
but soon it comes round to your soul…

Leonard Cohen Sisters of Mercy

You pack up the scarves, suits,
sweaters, the socks, the infinite
phenomenon of your possessions.
Inside the winter house you can’t

control the wind, the rain, the snow.
You can’t control the way the foundation
might slip, or the walls could crack,
or what you will say when

you walk out the door forever. It isn’t
an easy decision. It’s a blizzard. The wind
drives you to it. The cold, damp, storm
of their anger, the grip of their freezing

hands begging you to stay. It’s ice,
the South Pole, you’re a penguin leaving
the circle of body heat that is the only
survival. You can fly. Through the chagrin,

through the violence, rounding the edge
of your foundation, far away, free.
There you are. Seat of feathers and marrow,
quintessence of courage, you who are the essence

of loneliness, you who gathers, who starts over.


Phyllis Klein believes in poetry. Her work has appeared in the Pharos of Alpha Omega Medical Society Journal, Qarrtsiluni online literary magazine, Silver Birch Press, The New Verse News and others, Crosswinds Poetry Journal, Chiron Review, The American Journal of Nursing, Rat’s Ass Review, and Dovetails, an International Journal of the Arts. She is very interested in the conversation between poets and readers of poetry. She sees artistic dialogue as an intimate relationship-building process that fosters healing on many levels. Her favorite sweet is red watermelon.

 … return to Issue 10.1 Table of Contents.