Barbara Asch Camillo
On her 68th birthday

I know a woman
Who walks
Up a ladder of January air,
Creates the silver of frozen lakes,
Makes snow circuses in valleys,
And drowns all winter voices
Before they wake.
The spring is her hair,
Her eyes are the color of soil,
She casts pennies onto ice, buying fire,
And dances Cinderella steps
At the sides of roads
Until the wind that is her orchestra is tired.
She wants to run until she is broken,
Drink wine with ghosts,
And stride over the sea in handmade shoes.
She makes umbrellas out of seasons
Before rain has begun,

And talks to gulls that have arrived
From distant islands with water news.
Because she tells me that the earth
Is flowing into the mouth of the sun,
I am sitting tonight at the edge of myself
And feeling time blowing over early ice.

Our child wakes, love flows to delight,
Desiring so much, we want only this night.


Vic Camillo teaches at the University of Iowa. He is working on a book of essays with Barbara Camillo, the title essay of which, "Riding the Cassville Ferry," originally appeared in the Iowa Review. More of his writing can be found at his web site.

Vic Camillo's Website

This page was first displayed
on October 04, 2010

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