Like riding a rusty whetstone:
you pedal fast, the round stone
chirring in frayed summer heat.
Then, when you slide your thumb
along the blade edge, leaves
are falling in their wary beauty.
Everyone knows it’s the most
nuanced month, cycling between
bronze and iron, ochre and dun.
This way it always surprises,
never disappoints, never leaves
you ragged in a field of goldenrod
for long, looking up at blue sky
where clouds begin to darken
a landscape slowly stilled, silent,
without scent, sharp as steel.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 4.
It isn’t so much the Proclamation as the whiff
of hope, night worrying bare branches
and rooftops, nibbling the contours
of a tired city. They gather in their churches,
studs and rafters taut with promise that is
not a promise. Someone begins to sing
the hours toward midnight, stokes a fire,
paces the wide-planked floor.
At last, no hair’s breadth, not even motes
of dust or wintry air move in this space.
Even the sleepers’ sighs are silenced;
beams forget to crack and settle.
This is faith: everything watches and waits,
the horned owl roosting, the wren
folding into its wing. Dogs slip
under sunken porches; crabs and bass
in the frozen Potomac barely breathe
beneath the almost tangible stars,
sharp as mica, the thin sliver of moon.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 1.
Cider Press Review’s April 2013 web issue, Volume 15, Issue 2, is now online.
Read new work by Sandra Kohler, Lois Marie Harrod, Jeanpaul Ferro, David Filer, Lorraine Doran, Rebecca Aronson, Doris Matthews, Brenda Yates, Diane Scholl, Sharon Chmielarz, Joseph Dorazio, Rachel Rostad, Christine Butterworth McDermott, Barbara Mossberg, Shawn Fawson, Susana Lang, John Davis, Susan Grimm, Grant Clauser, Kathleen Hellen, John Sibley Williams, and Jane Rosenberg LaForge.
Read the issue online today; download a Kindle version from Amazon in May.