Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Poem by Judith Skillman

Below the Snow Line

The maid wields her duster.  She
Wears the apron you love to watch,
The one that bares her thighs.
She is meticulous, and young--too young
For such difficult work:  keeping
Each and every flake of snow from the needles
Of trees called Evergreen.  She smells
Of Paper whites, calls out your name
In a husky, Aussie accent--are you home?
Have you arrived back from the office,
Mission, dock, island, market where you
Picked up a crusty bread and a bottle of white,
Some cheese aged perfectly, the texture
Encaustic as if Brie were hot wax and we
Could bite into our portion of the painting,
Savor a glazed light.

Judith Skillman's new book is Angles of Separation, Glass Lyre Press 2014.  Her work has appeared in Tampa Review, Cimarron Review, Tar River Poetry, Prairie Schooner, FIELD, Seneca Review, The Iowa Review, Southern Review, Poetry, New Poets of the American West, and other journals and anthologies.  Skillman is the recipient of grants from the Academy of American Poets, Washington State Arts Commission, and King County Arts Commission.  She has taught at City University, Richard Hugo House, Yellow Wood Academy, and elsewhere.  Visit

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