Shaking the Snow

By Kimberly L. Becker

(for Susan)

In the night yard,
the old magnolia is
with all-day
so I go and begin
lowering the branches,
pulling and releasing
just enough
for the snow to shake off
and keep the limbs from breaking
under unabated weight.

I walk around the tree
and when I’m finished
I stand inside the circle.
Just me and the tree
with the rim of cast-off
snow as boundary.
Beyond, the yard lies
pristine except for exuberant dog tracks.

What if someone took our
burden from us lightly?
Shook us just enough
that we let fall
whatever weighed
our spirit

You did that once, for me.

I was frozen
and with your bracing words
you shook the sorrow
from my limbs
so that I stood centered once again
with the boundaries of my life around
and new.

Copyright © Kimberly L. Becker. All rights reserved.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kimberly L. Becker is a member of Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. Words Facing East (WordTech Editions, 2011) is her first book of poetry. Individual poems appear widely in journals and anthologies. The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (MD) funded her study of Cherokee language, history, and culture in Cherokee, NC. She was also awarded a residency at Hambidge Center in North Georgia. Current projects include adapting Cherokee myths into plays for the Cherokee Youth in Radio Project at the Cherokee Youth Center, also in Cherokee, NC.
Visit her on the web at

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