Poem of the Week | December 27, 2021

This week’s Poem of the Week is “Year’s End” by Nicholas Friedman!

Nicholas Friedman is the author of Petty Theft, winner of The New Criterion Poetry Prize. He lives with his wife and son in Syracuse, NY.


Year’s End

It’s foolish, having a newly dying father,
to expect the driveway’s black ice to behave
differently beneath my mother’s feet
when she hauls the garbage bins back in at night.

The asphalt will be adamant as asphalt.
Calling, but unheard at first, she’ll lie
under the oaks, her thin canary nightgown
collecting snow so silent it almost rings.


Author’s Note

This poem isn’t strictly factual, but I hope it gets at a feeling very much true to my own experience. If a reader has ever been surprised to find that one grief doesn’t indemnify them against another, then maybe the poem will feel true to them, too.