Ruth Baumann

The Glacier
Issue One
Fall 2022


Last night I read wondering if you’re a good or bad person
will only cause suffering. Which was an interesting
& true take on the need to sometimes shed the self
like an old skin & sometimes throw it up
like when my kitten had her first hairball the other day
& screamed the whole while. What was that,
she demanded from an answerless sky. Once
it was out, though, she licked her lips & walked
peaceably away. I think I love other species so much
because they do what we do but with so much
more grace. They know how to let go. I stand
still. They know how to step away.


It feels rude to fall in love in the midst of death.
But it’s irresponsible not to, really.
Every morning I wake up with the choice:
how much do I want to limit my limited time?
Wild possums roam my yard.
I take a cue, I open up to instinct.


A teacher tells me, every change is a promotion.
I have spent whole lifetimes with my heart
as a cat wanting outdoors, then indoors,
then out. I know the ache
of standing forever in the doorway.
I know it & I don’t want it anymore.

After the Fight

But it’s the oldest story—reader,
                                                                              I love what I’ve built of him.
I’m growing thin again.
                                       You can see it in my face.
My eyes two wells full, a broken bucket.
                                                                              Time will be honest as a sword.

RUTH BAUMANN has a PhD from Florida State University, and teaches in Florida prisons. She also is the author of two books of poetry from Black Lawrence Press. 

Artwork by David Dodd Lee.
© The Glacier 2022. All rights reserved.