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False Spring (I)

by Bryn Gribben

Over-soaked season

dark with drenching

cold-cocking lambs and baby chicks


you set me up, a scam:

I’m Gullible, you’re Gut Punch


pink and purple as a bruise,

all blossom-addled, scattered

system of give and take away


oh, but the green, believers say

pray their seeds aren’t washed astray

like sins, surgeons of root rot and sog


I think, Spring, you’re an asshole

pretending you’re a princess—

you weep that darkness is a curse

but you roll around in all this rain


a witch


I’m over it


I won’t dance this life dance to death

no matter what red-plum ballet shoes

you branch across my feet,

while you chant


Wet with leaf-slick lying

Wet with mud-mad dying


Wet as litters scooted out in globs

Wet as trees mushrooming nobs


Wet in slatternly mulch

and sloppy growth


Wet in labial flower beds

promiscuous without an oath

I hate you when you wink and walk away

flash your flowering underskirt

feed me grape hyacinths

expecting me to spit out mud


I won’t grope in grass half-frozen

forever scouting shoots


Give it up, you bitch

We’re insane now

and not afraid to snap

Bryn Gribben is a poet and essayist who left academia to work with antiques. Her essay "Cabin" was nominated for a 2019 Pushcart Prize, and she was a finalist for the 2021 Creative Nonfiction Porch Prize. In July 2022, Otherwords Press published Bryn's first book, a musical memoir, Amplified Heart: An Emotional Discography. She lives in Seattle with two cats and a love song of a partner.

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