by Whitney walters
: a low muffled sound like distant thunder heard in certain seismic regions esp. along seacoasts and over
lakes and thought to be caused by feeble earth tremors (Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary, 2013)
Pressure tightens around my neck
where it meets my jaw
squeezing like a towel being wrung
as undesired fluid rises in my view.
I swallow hard,
resisting the inevitable
watershed on my face
as my voice quivers,
on my trembling lips.
I found you among the lilacs which draw me out each year
by indicating summer has arrived.
Their purple sunshine fragrance sends me to a home
I am comfortable in, yet have had trouble finding,
until I knew you.
As I reached up to a cluster,
and twisted the sharp branch
to bring home a souvenir,
though it would soon rust,
petals showered me.
In watching them descend, I saw you.
You had fallen among the dust and grass
when you hoped to fly like your acquaintances.
You seemed imperfect perfection.
I longed to touch you,
though I was uncertain of your desires.
How comforting when your eyes assured me,
and yet warned me, to carefully pick you up, as mine.
Surely you remember the tenderness
in which my palm caressingly lifted your body up.
Though you feebly resisted my first offering of food and structure,
you soon grew to expect it.
We found many answers in each other;
the way “I’m here now” makes all the difference.
Because though you sing in my absence
it is not the same song as when we are together.
You survive, but without the same joy.
And I feel less certain and more vulnerable
in your absence which lacks your comforting tones
and your body next to mine.
So I go back to the day I first saw your auburn form,
instantly sensing a soul longing for simply the knowledge
it is loved and taken care of.
For surely, the fact I found you found me
among lilacs after a cold winter
Meanwhile, you can’t
make up your bi-polar mind
as you defy the fads
of past springs in your
You rogue, you.
Please, continue mocking me
with your sallow expanses
as I peer out the kitchen
window, half fogged by
the aura of baked potato soup.
Winter, this epoch of our
relationship is overdue to end.
My enthusiasm waits
for your replacement—
a season both more and less
narcissistic and exhibitionist,
but far less chuffed than
the virago you are
at this point in time.
Seriously, it’s baseball season.
For now, I’m taking my leave
and a long bath, during which
I will entertain the idea
of warm, humid summer,
grilled corn on the cob,
and root beer floats.
Whitney (Walters) Jacobson is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth and an Assistant Editor of Split Rock Review. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Minnesota State University Moorhead. Her poetry and creative nonfiction have been published or are forthcoming in After the Pause, Red Weather, Thunderbird Review, and In the Words of Womyn International, among other publications.