April Michelle Bratten's latest book is the Anne of Green Gables inspired chapbook, Anne with an E (dancing girl press 2015). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Southeast Review, Zone 3, Gargoyle, decomP, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Thrush Poetry Journal, among others. She is the editor-in-chief of Up the Staircase Quarterly, and a contributing editor at Words Dance Publishing where she writes the article "Three to Read." She currently lives in Minot, North Dakota.
The Winter of Anne
She is fashioned from the sand of the island,
perplexed by the sea inside of her. She will
never know a gun. She brings the books
of Anne in her long arms, a name to hover
next to the nest of light-orange that changes
above pale thighs; her nipples push the lace.
She carries Jesus in the puff of her sleeve,
lays bare the wild white flower of her skin
to Him, arrives in bright sound, but when
it winters, the white leaves her body. Thin
hands scratched by stiff wool, toes strangled
inside black boots, her lungs are a quarry
for the effort of breath. She will never know
a gun. She is only a fire ant, one small jagged
blood line drawn onto the gray hill as the snow
clunks like rocks to the ground. Matthew,
with soft fur-face and summer eyes, pulls
the horses up close.