Phillip Sterling

The Perception of Distance at First Light
by Phillip Sterling

Some mornings we take fog
too seriously, like a school bus
strobing its route more slowly
than by rote, more the pace of

a straight man than class clown.
There is danger in it, we say,
dismissing any chance of mockery.
We can’t see the humor,

the oil of black walnut husks
greasing the walk, or a squirrel’s
slapstick of acorn profligacy.
It’s just not normal, we say,

unable to see the gray horse
grazing its close-cropped pasture,
less expecting to be sated than
grateful there is no gate in sight.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 22, Issue 3.

Phillip SterlingPhillip Sterling is the author of two poetry collections, And Then Snow and Mutual Shores, a collection of short fiction, In Which Brief Stories Are Told, and four chapbook-length series of poems: Significant Others, Quatrains, Abeyance, And for All This: Poems from Isle Royale. He has served as Artist-in-Residence for both Isle Royale National Park and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

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