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In and out like a lion I hunt by morning

moon and freezer light, like what was seen

by men through fog on frozen floes.

You know sealers hunted in the Narrows?

I scoop out forgotten chicken thighs in shame,

pick blueberries off frost, look for wild

strawberries lost in margarine tubs. My hands,

Spring breaking ice apart, bread in cold soup.

The long and hungry month of March is here.

It’s all the same today, really, the price of cigarettes

being what it is. Learning how to live

alone, I appreciate the constants.

Like those who came before me,

I relish frugality, delight in the necessity

of self-preservation, freeze box-mix

pancakes for later, half-eaten by picky mouths,

syrup-wet backs, soaked so thoroughly

they never thaw. My pancakes died deep

in the freezer, stuck in the ice for months

before anyone noticed, next to the thyme.

Cleaning Out the Freezer

Maggie Burton

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