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.