driving for hours those long days long ago—
I wove wide routes along the backroads,
past tobacco fields, weathered wood churches,
Jordan Lake wreathed by pines opening for swift
visions of calm water
leaving the rage-hearth behind
. . . listening for what peace might sound like.
window rolled down, warm light dressing my arm, it’s easy now to say
I was thinking about different kinds of silence
but I was trying not to think about anything
wanting to see what was in the world outside of me—
watching herons sail down low to shore,
or wrapping the long curve of road, hearing
the lawnmower sing its rapt psalm to the lawn
long before I could see it, or the man riding it
who leans over a little, watching where his paths join.
what did I hope to see when the curve disappeared?
kept expecting to find a place
. . . where I could be enough
as if I’d know it when I saw it—
as if some sign would draw me there,
steady as a sparrow gliding,
sure as light laying itself down on water.
that sharp taste of sky
Pine shadows chime branches, your small dark
among them, wild dogwood
smooth under thin claws. Wind among limbs
drifts like memory — quick-tilt your head,
. wait. It takes all your breath
to tell motion to the sky
when it’s fledging your stretch —
so when flying, you rise in silence —
then at rest, make song from light
Ann Davenport is a poet, essayist, translator, and devotee of fresh bread. She has hand-published three chapbooks: ends & beginnings (2000), riparian (2003), and love (2007). Her poetry and critical writing have appeared or are forthcoming in Bird’s Thumb, Pleiades: Literature in Context, The Stillwater Review, Adanna Literary Journal, Digging through the Fat, and Run & Tell That. Ann serves as the Executive Editor of QuillsEdge Press, as a mentor with the non-profit Poetry Heals, and as a freelance editor and teacher. Connect with her at 31annotations.com.
Photo credit: Roberto Carlos Garcia