Wanda Schubmehl
Wanda Schubmehl

From the book:

Kokopelli In Winter, Rochester, NY

Listening to R. Carlos Nakai on my ipod,
I shuffle my insulated boots down East Avenue,
dreaming of petroglyphs on red desert rock.

Icicles hang from the coffee-shop canopy,
accretions of falling water-drops paused
by the overnight freeze.

My feet want to step to a corn-dance beat,
but there's tricky ice under two inches of new snow.
Some mouse has scurried down this same sidewalk

leaving little pawprints like a pictograph trail
which I follow, no predator forcing my pace,
just cold wind spitting ice down the back of my coat.

Hunched over, tassles on my knitted hat flying,
I wonder if the mouse survived, and lies holed-up
in a grass-lined nest.  Maybe an owl hunted in the dark,

and is sleeping now with a mouse-full belly.  I figure the odds
are fifty-fifty.  The ancient petroglyph artists are dead,
but even half-frozen, I can hear the music,

so I give in to the flute, and, ice or no ice,
my feet draw old patterns on the cold concrete.

Wanda Schubmehl began a serious study of poetry around the time she turned 40, and the current collection contains poems written over the next 20 years.  She has worked as a secretary in a country music booking agency, a children's librarian, and a clinical social worker.  She and her husband have two daughters, and currently live in upstate New York.

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