by M Ross Henry

It announces itself as a rustle in the bushes, as a tug of the hem, as a flash of light in the eye, as a shadow, as a moment of nostalgia, as a birthmark, as a sea of swallows swallowing the air’s currents, as a stutter, as a slip of the tongue, as the tongue itself drawing cursive across skin, as a phrase, as a password, as an anniversary, as Daylight Saving Time, as rush hour. It announces itself without invitation, without fanfare, without warning. It sends others running in the opposite direction—to their cars, to their homes, to their root cellars and panic rooms. You are different. You hear it coming and you stay, hoping to watch it transmogrify. The world falls silent. Stillness hangs in the summer air as thick as Midwest humidity. Where is it? In the owl? In the couple fighting next door, their bodies scuttling across their bay window like shadow puppets? In the passing car? Finally, you think you see it. You turn your head and it’s gone.

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 3.

placesaver2M Ross Henry lives and writes in the lower Missouri River Basin. The motto of the state where M lives is ad astra per aspera, meaning “to the stars through difficulties,” which captures not only the essence of the human condition but also the attempt to capture that condition in and through poetry.

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