A Poem by Kathleen Ossip

by Mark Bibbins, Editor

The Arrival of Spring


“So then you were….”
“So then I was what?”
And the whole seabeach

just beyond the trees
widens. Italian? Blonde?
Charming? In a

scarcity economy,
kindness is bread,
and if kindness comes

from lust, so be it.
A bubbly state of

opportunity has left
every gal a
little bit pregnant,

while every guy
hangs around the edges,
stirring the shit.

And yet, they aren’t
heinous, an oldtime
ardor prevails.

Of course we are
fascinating to ourselves.

What you did for me,
what I did for you,
masters the world

with brave
dark injury,
afterwards sitting

on the meadow floor.
And even when


feel pleasantly free.
Love triumphs
over brutality

because brutality
must end
with death, and love

never does, it
can always
find a new

sky or a
and we believe

this because
it’s our job to
believe it,

and if you can’t
believe it perhaps
you need a harder

kick in the ass
or whispered

delivered in a
loose slurred voice.
Notice, please,

the freshness,
the tang that says
the only thing

to do is keep
working. Master
the same world,

please, with petite
licks of ecstasy.
Remember, the

sweat weather
is months away.
Beneath the cult,

a baroque mystery,
mischievous and
sans pain.

Under the feet,
the splaying myrtle.
Around the pretty

faces, the year’s first
Below the canopy,

all is explained,
and explained.

Kathleen Ossip is the author of The Do-Over, which will be published in 2015; The Cold War, which was one of Publishers Weekly’s best books of 2011; The Search Engine, which was selected by Derek Walcott for the American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize; and Cinephrastics, a chapbook of movie poems.

You will find more poems here. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.