Again and Again

I step out of my old clothes:
shame, frustration, rage.

I take them off like a child coming in from the cold
into a warm house, throwing them in a wet pile
on the floor.

Again I am opening the door,
again unzipping my coat.

Over and over I must learn the same lessons
like late October sleet
that bends the birch, still heavy with leaves, almost to breaking –

And again I shake if off, stand
in my same body in the light: here, now,
water dripping from my sleeves.

Nadia Colburn

Blackness: Night before Ash Wednesday, 2020