She Broke into a Run

She broke into a run    that’s what it says
black ink on the white page    the faintly ivory
or eggshell page    her lover appearing
on the courthouse steps    the street

covered with snow concealing patches of ice
and that    perhaps    what the author meant
writing she broke into a run

that she fell on the street    on the ice
breaking hip    wrist    kneecap    collarbone

except reading on I see that her lover
should not have been on the steps
of that building    in that town    across
that street and when he saw her
he did not smile but looked    caught

in which case it must have been her heart
breaking    not a carton of eggs on pavement
uncouched by snow    but breaking

like that   like something irreplaceable
which is what it was    stumbling    and falling

Bethany Reid is the author of Sparrow, winner of the 2012 Gell Poetry Prize, selected by Dorianne Laux. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Blackbird, and Calyx. She blogs at, and lives in Edmonds, Washington, with her husband and three daughters.