by Debra Allbery
Congratulations to Debra Allbery, winner of the 2010 Grub Street National Poetry Prize for Fimbul-Winter
paper, 96 pages, $15.95
You want to tell this story
without touching anything.
The glass unsmudged, the great river
still frozen. Or if it was raining then,
the rain falling unbroken.
There are no people in this story,
no one you’d know. It’s January,
March, that fine gray suspension
before the thaw. It’s a long walk,
that’s all, hands deep in the pockets,
rough wind of diesel and prairie,
years go by. You carry a few words
like compasses, that’s all, like coins,
bright eye-pennies, their cool weight
precise in the palms.