for Dawn Potter


I did try, in the white out, the white out

of anger among women

when we started stumbling in the storm

and couldn’t see one another


To not lose track of the One I’ve been putting together

with old clay from failed adobe bricks, and frayed

but holding twine

rigging her to be unassailable in winter


Even as I tried to keep my hand on my sister

Even as I clung to the rope that could bind us


But we were lost.

I at least, felt left there

like the climber gone blind

when the vessels of his eyes ruptured

whose friends labored him down Everest

only having to go on

before they themselves



He perhaps understood

what had come to pass, forgiving them

as he slipped away


Yet when we cast someone out

how should she not

throw herself down

in anguish;

this should be our concern


I have confessed

the sin of degradation

as I was degraded, owned

my part in the erosion

of  good will; now


I hope never to head

even to the near peaks again

without a beacon

pitons, nylon rope coiled

for a long climb

matches and punk to start a fire


A book to write a farewell in

if I should freeze alive

on the sheer cliff

that rage becomes


Overkill to be sure

but when someone knifed my rope

and I cartwheeled away

and then was banned

from the vale out of the wind

I nearly bled

from my own eyes.


When I was in the cave

of my malaise

I didn’t care whose heart I scored

to hemorrhage vinegar


Just as we cannot recover love’s body

until a thaw

There was such frost over the meanings

of affiliation

everything blackened


Even so, I would share what I have

with an enemy


as I am, someone

who in opening her mouth

strands herself

and then begins to fall.


copyright Jenne’ R. Andrews 2011 All Rights Reserved