Once there was a house that floated
on a river of noise
that tossed on waves of words, shook in the rain
and wind of a thousand names,
a house no more substantial than mist or glass.
A woman lived there with her name
and her glass of wine
and the string around her finger reminded her
of voices bubbling on the stove,
of fragments she assembled from frost and dew.
Sometimes she spoke to the ghosts of cats
or even to revenant owls.
She told stores that were true once, in mountain
camps where thunder held the scent
of yarrow and larkspur, monkshood and columbine.
I knew her name, and it was smoke,
it was breath and bells
and many crystal sounds of frozen air
fractured in the far north. It was spring storm
and rivers rising, the greening flood plain swept away.
Steve Klepetar lives in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. Several of his poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Recent collections include My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto and The Li Bo Poems, both from Flutter Press.