To Outwait the Pandemic

by Jeff Burt

what I wanted was a Ray Griffith sweater,
one with bulk, hand-knitted

by an aunt, decades old and worn,
warm, awkwardly fit yet comforting,

with measured sleeves and cuffs not frayed
though pulled and loose at the elbows

with that little collar that fenced the neck
from cold, that when you pulled out a pen

and paper something warm and witty
spilled onto paper, or a letter glib

with insignificant news, a caricature
or profile of idiosyncrasies,

a letter of comments on the weather,
a teabag like a wet plum on paper.

Jeff Burt lives in Santa Cruz County, California with his wife. He works in mental health. He has contributed to Heartwood, Williwaw Journal, Red Work Journal, and Montana Mouthful. He won the 2017 Cold Mountain Review Narrative Poetry Prize. Stella Bellow is an illustrator currently attending Parsons School of Design in New York City. The illustration depicts Emily Dickinson in a cable-knit sweater.

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