Skip to main content
By Jennifer Elise Foerster

My crown.
My room.
Surrounding snow.
These are not my
hands, my winter shoes
carried off by uncertain music.
There was a meadow
behind my house
and if I should see myself there
she would tell me
there was never a meadow
and then walk through me
as if through a cloud
and carry on in her own
solitary direction.
Crows still caw
in her palace garden—
tram rails, rain,
stammering moon.
Once lilacs bloomed
their huge white knuckles
breaking the winter of my room—
it was a dream—French windows
on a Viennese street.
Every street I cross
angling alongside
smoggy postwar artifices
branches scratch
against my sleep.
How my body was a branch
in my sleep.
And when I woke
years later
I peered down upon it
leafless and stiff.
No roosts left, no caw.
No birds blooming
in my dream’s green crooks.
Afternoons alone
are labyrinthine.
I wander the city, searching
for what? Friends,
we knew where to find each other,
tapping the window of the winter room.
We were thinner then,
younger than the chestnut trees.
Everything has its seed
much later
and on the other side of time.

Jennifer Elise Foerster, "The Other Side." Copyright © 2017 Jennifer Elise Foerster. Used by permission of the author for PoetryNow, a partnership between the Poetry Foundation and the WFMT Radio Network.

Source: PoetryNow (2017)

  • Activities
  • Living
  • Nature

Poet Bio

Jennifer Elise Foerster
Poet Jennifer Elise Foerster is of German, Dutch, and Mvskoke descent and is a member of the Mvskoke (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma. She earned a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts, an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and PhD from the University of Denver. She co-directs For Girls Becoming, an arts mentorship program for Mvskoke youth in Oklahoma and teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts low-residency MFA program. See More By This Poet

More Poems about Activities

Browse poems about Activities

More Poems about Living

Browse poems about Living

More Poems about Nature

Browse poems about Nature Get a random poem