Issue Four

Summer 2012


And Snow and a Strange White Flight

Still trying to put aside something necessary,
I can see the persistence of the river and
the cut-bank tumbled to its own separate life,
its silt and leaves choking the thick weary flow.

I can see the white meadow without me,
as peaceful as an empty schoolyard, with
a fresh snowfall to muffle the pounding
footsteps that aren’t even there, but

I am not alone, and no child has died,
lending credence to the separation
of one world from another, and you
have learned to say what is needed,

our talk passing softly from one to the other
like two ends of a stream so quiet and still
you can’t tell where it started or even
which way it might be going, and this

is the way we like it now, at rest and
letting things that come to it stay
and in this way settling down into
whatever is going to take us in.

And then a snow-owl begins
sliding down the chill wind and
breaks through the crusted snow,
its talons grasping something

it must have seen some sign of,
although I still can’t, beneath the hard
white edge, where need has reached,
holding on to instinct, rising. I button

my jacket, and I shiver. The thought has
grabbed me and stays cold and cannot
see what I know. What I was looking for
was not what I had gone looking for.


Rich Ives