A Reverent Green

Poetry / Nate Pritts

Walking by the frozen river
all these rocks scattered         near the banks

shine a most reverent green
even on this deep winter day.

Each is a single step
                                    on a path

that no one is brave enough to go down
through this arctic wilderness into some
                                                    underworld wild.

I think I see that same green later—opening the cabinets
and drawers at home                   just out of the corner of my eye.

A sense of that color has spread everywhere
              or         I carry it with me

but I know I will never see that green again.
I will give up on love

carry death                   and the fear of death
in my heart.
                        I will shatter this crystal

that is my life               if it helps me
remember what I’ve lost.

Featured in Verse Daily’s ‘Web Weekly’ series (May 1, 2017).

Nate Pritts is the Director and Founding Editor of H_NGM_N (2001), an independent publishing house that started as a mimeograph ‘zine. He is also the author of eight books of poetry, including Post Human (A-Minor, 2016) and Decoherence, which won the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award and will be published in the fall of 2017. He lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York state.