We’re entering the season of winter bareness, as the last of the leaves turn russet and dark yellow, and just plain brown, on the oaks.  The maple leaves are long gone.  Most bushes have lost their leaves now too, including the winterberry bushes that flourish in wet spots around my house.  After dropping their glossy summer leaves, the bush is a great swath of color in an otherwise quickly-becoming-dim landscape.  We passed a bush this morning while walking, which made me think of this poem, from my manuscript The Truth About Death.    Noticing brilliance was part of how I made each day work for me, in that numbing first year of grief.  It still helps, a spark of color on a grey morning.


Sunlight through the kitchen window
catches my glass of juice and fires
a moment of brilliance in my hand,
moving to my mouth, my lips. I drive
to work, I drive too fast, accelerating hard
up the hill from the traffic circle
a bright November morning, bushes
of winterberry red and red and red
against bare trees shiny with sunlight.


About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
This entry was posted in Poetry, Seasons. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Winterberries

  1. Hi Grace, love the poem and your blog about the red, the winterberry and the bare landscape. I can relate. Good luck and have fun with the November novel writing. Andrea

  2. Pingback: The Metaphor of New Glasses | The Premise Is Grace

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s