V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics





before daybreak into a wind already rising 
over the dark fields of loss, I wait 
for the sky to gray above the windmill's wheel, 
which knocks and grinds as the fantail swings 
to ride what is born of the world's turning 

I start out running along a gravel road 
that cuts across the vast empty pages 
of corn stubble and fringe of winter wheat, 
trying to lean into the rhythm 
of whatever love I have known in my life, 
but the April air is pure resistance: 
bowing my head, seizing every breath, 
forcing my eyes to focus on the desolate 
shape of my own shadow 

Heading home, the relentless push from behind 
billows the sleeves of my warm-ups into sails 
and I'm carried down that long tunnel of self 
flowing in and out and in and out 
until red-winged blackbirds trill me back 
to the solitary kestrel hovering easily overhead 
before it settles onto the thin electrical wire, 
knowing just what it takes to hold on

© by Cheryl Lachowski


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