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Barbara Fletcher (website) is a poet and web editor living in Toronto, Canada. She edits the writers' resource site and maintains several websites. Her work has most recently appeared in Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine, NFG, Regina Weese, and MAG.

View the rest of the poems from Barbara Fletcher in the March 2004 edition:

 

Tocsin (*an omen)
by Barbara Fletcher


I

Found a finger in the snowslush:
a perfect digit with an iced-blue knuckle
and purpleblue nail, stiff and pristine.
Thought a finger would be useless
without a hand, but it made an impeccable
utensil for writing names in the snow.


II

This past Autumn our pines and spruce trees
were weighted down with an abundance
of cones: heavy brown omens of a long
and treacherous Winter, of dangerous drifts,
and bluecold faces and fingers.


III

Mittened hands shake snow
from a girl's hat and coat and marbled skin,
poke fire into her hypothermic limbs;
their eyebrows are stretched into question marks
but their eyes lock in truth, knowing,
as they drag her from the bloodstainedsnow,
gloveless and missing one finger.


(previously published in The Best of the Melic Review, December 2001)

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