Victorian in Winter by Martin Willitts, Jr.


Victorian in Winter

Based on the painting “Victorian in Winter,” by Peter Poskas, 1979

There is a transcription of snow on light,
when the blue-grey sky is begging for release
and the chill is painted directly on the air.
In such cold as this, we move as intention allows.
It is slow going. The air numbs the toes.
If we do not get it soon, we might not make it.
This is not the time to be homeless or on the road,
making towards shelter where we might be turned back.
The only saving grace is that this is a break in snow,
a momentary belief in relief. It is not to be.
It is hard to remember white-hot summer
with so much on the mind to straighten out.
We do not deserve such breaks. It is not earned.
This is the stillness of black wrought-iron fences.

It is like the inside of an empty white Victorian house
with handmade lace curtains of snowflakes, where you hear
movement on the interlocked tongue-and-groove floors,
although it has been as empty as the landscape.

It is then when you realize this bitterness
has taken you to a different place
where your footprints disappear behind you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Victorian in Winter” by Peter Poskas. Painting. 1979. Image courtesy of the Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, Connecticut.

“Victorian in Winter” by Peter Poskas. Painting. 1979. Image courtesy of the Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, Connecticut.

Poor Yorick and our museum partner, the Mattatuck Museum, are proud to announce Martin Willitts, Jr. as the winner of our first Special Call for Submissions.


About the Author

Martin Willitts, Jr. is the winner of the 2012 Big River Poetry Review William K. Hathaway Award, 2013 Bill Holm Witness Poetry Contest, 2013 “Trees” Poetry Contest, 2014 Broadsided Award, and 2014 Dylan Thomas International Poetry Award. He has 28 chapbooks, including 2014 National Contest Winner William Blake, Not Blessed Angel but Restless Man, and 10 full-length collections, including National Ecological Winner Searching for What Is Not There. His forthcoming books include How to Be Silent (FutureCycle Press) and God Is Not Amused with What You Are Doing in Her Name (Aldrich Press).