Winter Work by Elana Wolff

Poem title: Winter Work
Poet name: Elana Wolff
Poem: The canvas where the easel stands extends beyond the art. 
Tumid puce, 
curdled blue.
A dirty family shambles gessoed / 


on ache
that grew too furious, 
I paint it to allay—
				against the dig of cynics;
name it for a phrase 
in Kafka’s winter work, 
						Das Schloss.
(One doesn’t need a gloss.)

Snows have been alighting through the night. 
Creatures—squirrels, rabbits, mice—
little figures, 
subtle in the hush.

These animals, 
their shadows—how it happens can’t be tapped—
go white 
to empathize, 
				ceding me 
the clemency of quiet.

				I am most moved 
								by figures that don’t 
whimper when they shift. 
End of poem.
Credits and bio: Copyright © Elana Wolff
Previously published in The Nashwaak Review, Fall 2023.
Elana Wolff’s writing has recently appeared (or will soon appear) in Arc, Best Canadian Poetry 2024, CV2, FreeFall, Galaxy Brain, Montréal Serai, The Nashwaak Review, Pinhole Poetry, Prairie Fire, and Vallum. Her collection, Swoon, received the 2020 Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Poetry. Her cross-genre Kafka-quest work, Faithfully Seeking Franz, is forthcoming from Guernica Editions.