Shallene McGrath


The season comes
nipping at ears in the night
and then I know
frost will soon grow
into snow

I cuddle close
to your furnace
swaddled in bed clothes
not near enough
until pulled into

Some distant memory
telling me
autumn is for lovers

Bodies entwined
bare branches
without the summer soup
of flesh on flesh

But I will stack
dead trees against
the rails
for solitary insurance

And incinerate them
one by one in sacrament
to keep the cat comfort
of which I am accustomed

When the birds have flown
and all that’s left to watch
is a dancing flame
held dear
in a cast iron bubble

There on winter’s
blank white sheet
I will write songs
of the spring
to the fall

Shallene McGrath, a retired legal secretary is one of the co-founders of the Garden Valley Writer’s Group. Her poetry has been published in Sacramento News & Review and Poetry Now. She has read her works at numerous featured readings in Sacramento, New Orleans and the greater San Francisco Bay Area. By invitation she has read her poetry at high schools and at Sacramento State University. She has run poetry readings in Sacramento, CA and New Orleans, LA. She currently resides in Garden Valley, Idaho, with her husband and cat, where she actively participates in the local art and writing community.