Two Poems by John Krumberger

Election Day, November 2016

Three days after we buried her
the weather abruptly changed,
and I failed to wear the proper shoes
for rain freezing into snow.
How I wanted to say the worst is over now
– the nursing home, the feeding tube,
her bruised arms and legs,
the thrush in her mouth done with and gone –
but the cold front would have contradicted me:
first a constant drip from roofs
and trees rivering the gutters,
then the sneer of ice with its ugly grin
on puddles lit by street lamps,
finally the drifts seeping into my wingtips,
never to be the same again.
Once the feet are cold, the body follows.
Shivering I recalled my James Joyce:
the snow general falling over
the dazed, mutinous country.

A Dream in Black and White

Hiking up an alpine ridge
dressed in his brown suede coat –
no boots or crampons,
no ice ax or glasses for snow blindness
though the sheen is brilliant white –
you think of the house on Franklin,
an ordinary summer evening;
the garden hose hiss a serpent;
you, your brother in bathing suits
laughing, receiving the spray,
cold surprise in the milky almost dark,
a boy’s way of being hugged, and now
past tree line you know you’ll not descend again
still you climb easily, almost running,
as if growing lighter here,
almost as if floating on air.


John Krumberger has previously published a volume of poems entitled THE LANGUAGE OF RAIN AND WIND (Backwaters Press in 2008), and a chapbook, IN A JAR SOMEWHERE through Black Dirt Press in 1999. His latest volume collection BECAUSE AUTUMN was published by Main Street Rag Press in 2016. He works as a psychologist in private practice in St. Paul MN and lives with his wife in Minneapolis.

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