We watch an early snowfall through a lens of ache in this week’s poem, Jennifer Ryan Onken’s “Trauma.” I love how this poem’s ethereal wash of white, gray and blue seems to hypnotize the speaker watching from within her house, and how the wintry landscape’s final transition leaves us with a sense of drift and disappearing.

Onken’s recent poems have appeared in SWWIM, The Night Heron Barks and LEON Literary review. Her chapbook “Medea at the Laundromat” was a finalist for the Larry Levis Post-Grad Prize at Warren Wilson’s Program for Writers, where she recently completed her MFA. She lives and teaches in southern Maine.

Poets, please note that submissions to Deep Water are open through the end of the year. Deep Water is especially eager to share poems by Black writers, writers of color, Indigenous writers, LGBTQ writers, and other underrepresented voices. You’ll find a link to submit in the credits below.

By Jennifer Ryan Onken

And snow arrived early and slow
and blurred the air and brushed
the land with gouache and
I’d watch it from inside
the house, how the birds
and dog seemed to move
so easily through it, leaving
their deep gray divots and
soon enough the light blued
and everything (even the sky)
was lost

Megan Grumbling is a poet and writer who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. “Trauma,” copyright 2021 by Jennifer Ryan Onken, appears by permission of the author. Submissions to Deep Water are open now and through the end of the year. For more information, go to mainewriters.org/deep-water.

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