Jennifer Raha earned her MFA from UNC Greensboro in 2013 and her BA in English from the University of Virginia. Her poems have recently appeared in Triquarterly, The Santa Clara Review, and The Cresset. Jennifer is a high school English teacher and lives in Suffolk, Virginia.
You did not come in like summer,
car seats hot to the touch, all that sweat.
Nor winter: cold, sullen,
and anxious—as anyone—to run off.
Fall would not do either,
with its loud cackle of fire and leaves.
You were and remain spring,
that fresh light crossing over
the hills in the horizon.
What if this is all anyone means
when discussing rebirth?
—the recollecting of who we are
as children, that light in the eye
so strong that when I catch a glimpse
of myself in the mirror
I find my girlhood
grin, fearless and willing, high ponytail
lopped to the side from laughter.
In the kitchen, an orchid grows
toward the window & often
I catch myself pressing a palm
against the radiator, resting
my own cheek against the glass.
you make so much and so little
sense—the orchid awarding
her most ornate petal with a swelling
into bloom. Nothing is separate.
For everything, explanation.
Even the bud knows to twist out
of its weight, to thrust its bottom
below and so, continually
faces upwards, professing
the petal’s song labellum labellum labellum.