T. Stores

If My Father Were a New England Poet

For Donald Hall He might know that those months of ice-crusted snow, silence reflecting a cold sun, only bury a brittle meadow, iron ground still fertile, waiting for thaw. He might learn from a wifeless life, the silence of love frozen under snowy gown, too young to be killed by overgrowth, hollowing even a Puritan soul. He might dig his fingers into her late-summer grave’s silence, sowing bulbs like broken lines, verse to bloom yellow in mud. He might observe from greys of soft ash and wood smoke, that words fanned into flame from silent old coals, not quite dead, can warm or sear the flesh of the smith, the stoker. The god of that man might have dangled his child by web thread in spider silence centuries past, but the New England poet would know that saplings clacking with ice, in Spring become silent with sap to be tapped, boiled gently down into thick food, sweet on the tongue, like love, lines welling from a source older than man, woman, or queer.

T. (Teresa) Stores is the author of three novels, Getting to the Point, SideTracks, and Backslide. Her fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including Sinister Wisdom, Rock & Sling, Cicada, Out Magazine, MotherVerse, Blithe House Quarterly, Oregon Literary Review, Bloom Magazine, Earth’s Daughters, Blueline, Damselfly Press, SawPalm, and Kudzu. Her work has been supported by grants from the Vermont Arts Council and the Barbara Deming Fund, and she was a resident at Bread Loaf and a scholar at The Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. She is the winner of the 2009 Kore Press Short Fiction Award for “Frost Heaves,” which has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. A graduate of the M.F.A. program at Emerson College, she is an associate professor of English at the University of Hartford.