Anne Winters


Day and Night in Virginia and Boston

After three months, Virginia is still a frontier.
Late at night, I close the door
on my husband practicing Mozart, the dishpan fills
and the network affiliates sign off one by one.
Now the country stations, tuning up like crickets
on radios in scattered valley kitchens:
Har yall this evenin folks!
(Wanting to say ‘I’ m real fine’ I whisper ‘Wow.’)
Got your Green Hill chicory perkin’? An army
of women, straightened and ironed and blued
like Picasso’ s ironer — jerking coffeecups

The Key to the City

All middle age invisible to us, all age
passed close enough behind to seize our napehairs
and whisper in a voice all thatch and smoke
some village-elder warning, some rasped-out
Remember me... Mute and grey in her city
uniform (stitch-lettered JUVENILE), the matron
just pointed us to our lockers, and went out.
‘What an old bag!’ ‘Got a butt on you, honey?’ ‘Listen,

The Mill-Race

Four-fifty. The palings of Trinity Church
Burying Ground, a few inches above the earth,
are sunk in green light. The low stones
like pale books knocked sideways. The bus so close to the curb
that brush-drops of ebony paint stand out wetly, the sunlight
seethes with vibrations, the sidewalks
on Whitehall shudder with subterranean tremors. Overhead, faint flickers

Wall and Pine: The Rain

Now the god of rainy August hangs his mask
among the city’ s spires and balustrades
and stone clocktowers half-effaced in clouds.
On Park the first reflecting pool dims
with a thousand smelted-silver circle-rims,
while west on Fifth a modiste scatters leaves
in fall vitrines, and felt-browed mannequins
resign the world with gestures of disdain.