Originally from northeast Iowa, Jill Osier has worked as a writer, laborer, and educator, much of the time in Iowa and Alaska. She holds a BA from Luther College and an MFA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her poems appear in Black Warrior Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Iowa Review, Poetry, 32 Poems, and Best New Poets 2006.
I feel very lucky to have this kind of support behind my work.
Today I find lowbush cranberries edging the yard. Full ripe,
they lie secret as gems among broken twigs and leaves blown down.
I pick two generous handfuls. There may be more. You told me
the story of Jupiter once. How when Voyager passed by one of its moons,
it recorded something like ten volcanic eruptions. Scientists reasoned
that if at random they found ten, the place must be breaking all the time.
They looked closer, and they were right. It is later and I'm home and I stand
in the dirt drive, berryless. It is dark and what's more, snowing. There is not
an elk here. Nothing's moving. The snow falls like it is making
up for months of not snowing. I don't know what it will bring back.
The bird I left on my steps, stunned in its bloody cap,
was gone when I came home. They are the small, hard,
cold flakes tonight. Millions. Maybe more.
(originally published in Poetry)