Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review


Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review


Article excerpt



The hilltop pond reflects

a fierce rootedness of tall grass

and resiliency of wildflowers,

but also the dome of the sky

filled with the inexhaustible

parade of clouds and birds.

At night, it serves

the tumbling well of space,

a greater darkness between the reeds

where moonlight skitters

in a wilderness of stars.

Bags of fire line a path

spiraling through the hospice gardens

where we stroll

remembering someone

who lived like a torch,

or had a magic lantern heart,

or powered a lighthouse.

We, too, are bags of fire

wearing a thin papery shield

between us and the weathers.

We burn like tallow, we taper off,

a candle in every cell.

At night in the ocean

lights turn on like kitchen bulbs,

as animals kindle a glow

to read by-at staggering depths

they don't need eyes

to fathom the darkness.

We do, as we travel

the shoals of memory

and drift between flickering

live fire and shadow,

for we belong to our past,

whose mooring lines sway

invisibly when we move.

But we also belong to our time.

Both hold starry inlets

and waypoints,

from childhood's embers

to love's meteoric sighs,

as we follow our flarepath

between the earth and sky. …

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