Poem from Emily Strauss

Fractured Lives

Born with the memory of the first spark

we grow to points of fractured glass.

We must now let go of distractions

like leaves blowing in a storm, the snow

wrapping us in dainty white crystals.

We must return to our first love, the complete self

unified in the blizzard, enveloped by its



The path never changes— if we find ourselves

grace happens.

When we become separated from the self

we lose our memory of roots, drift in the wind,

buried in snow on the back hill

we can barely see out the frosted panes,

the windows rattling and the drifts piling higher.

By morning half the fence will be buried,

the ground shaped into mounds—

we will be lost then.

Yet the deep snowy fields, the wind and leaves

are just masks to hide behind

like smoke from a burning slash pile

drifting under frozen oaks.

We are the children of this cold moment

remembering the first breath of wind slapped into us.

About Emily Strauss

Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry, which she has written since college. Over 450 of her poems appear in a wide variety of online venues and in anthologies, in the U.S. and abroad. She is a Best of the Net and twice a Pushcart nominee. The natural world of the American West is generally her framework; she also considers the narratives of people and places around her. She is a retired teacher living in Oregon.


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