Poets Read: Jennifer Judge

We are pleased to offer our Poets Read series in honor of National Poetry Month 2019 and will run it throughout the month of April. 

Every day in April, our website and our YouTube channel will feature the voice of a poet whose work has appeared in our pages over the past year. On Sundays, we will offer two poets for your enjoyment. 

Today’s poem is Late Winter School Days by Jennifer Judge and it appeared in the Winter 2019 issue of Gyroscope Review.

Late Winter School Days
by Jennifer Judge

How I hate the spelling of February,
those middle letters nearly invisible,

so easy to forget in a month that is entirely 
forgettable, sodden lawns, muddy bits of 

ice still clinging to roadsides, 
grass the unnatural color of a car left to rust.

Construction paper heart wreaths
and the black silhouettes of dead presidents

cut out by unskilled grade schoolers:
here Lincoln’s hat is missing part of its brim,

Washington’s wig has gone askew.
Wadded-up tissues bloom in piles on school desks.

At home, teakettles scream in frustration,
the dog sighs in sleep endlessly, and the 

clock tells it same old boring story.
The trip home is always too long,

smells like rain, gasoline, and dirty buses.
Winter has settled in — an uncomfortable yoga pose.
Jennifer Judge.

About the Poet: Jennifer Judge is a poet and essayist who teaches creative writing at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. She is coordinator of Poetry in Transit, a program that publishes poetry on public transit buses. One of her poems was recently selected for permanent inclusion in the Jenny Holzer installation For Philadelphia 2018, appearing in the lobby of the Comcast Technology Center. Her work has appeared in Literary Mama, Blueline, Under the Gum Tree, The Comstock Review, Gyroscope Review, and Rhino, among others. She earned her MFA from Goddard College and lives in Dallas, Pennsylvania, with her husband and two daughters.