First Night, Perkins Pier by Ralph Culver

First Night, Perkins Pier

Here a woman draws a white coat close
. . . .against the cold. The sky
. . . .presents its chalice.
. . . .Pleas dissolve in steam at the lips of
. . . .young children refusing to come in.

. . . .Nothing will change.
. . . .Each day plays the songs of
. . . .water, of bread, of dying.

. . . .Yet the winter lasts only a moment.
. . . .Edging the lake ice,
. . . .a girl tests her new skates,
. . . .ringing a silver bell, eating a coin of chocolate.

by Ralph Culver, first published in Seven Days.

Editor’s Note: Acrostic poems need not be obvious. This gem gets its point across with simple statements and a delicious last line that leaves the reader with a clear image of winter’s ephemeral nature.


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