and winters behind your back. Buds bellow. Blossoms age into plums. The world feeds on light. Willing to be taken apart, each bough slackens, drops jewels unabashedly into the bright waste of last year’s unclaimed fruit—largesse sewn into topsoil. You want this kind of waste: the fallen, the wayside. To begin, unclasp. Take back the world that swallows offerings unclaimed and folds them into dark seams. It takes time to unlearn scarcity and change.
* from George Herbert, The Collar
Natalie Bryant Rizzieri’s poems have appeared in journals such as Salamander Review, Crab Orchard Review, Oklahoma Review, Sugar House Review, Connotation Press, Redactions, Calyx Journal, Ascent, Permafrost, and Spec – Journal of Art & Culture. Her book, From the Same Fruit, was a semifinalist for the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. She is the founder and director of Friends of Warm Hearth, a group home for orphans with disabilities in Armenia. She lives in Flagstaff, Arizona with her family.