Mercedes Lawry: "Canted"



Through stony rain on a long Thursday,
the woman climbs the trail. Trees
lie against the sky, a net
of finger birds. Her breath, swollen and cold,
spills into thin air.

Past spiny ferns, a flood of gray rock
clabbered with moss,
she empties useless words
into the loam. The fevered verbs,
the harsh descriptions,
phrases arching in time.
How she knows herself in relation to the rest.

She lets go as the damp finds pockets
in her bones. The pine, the water,
her weight at each step,
a sudden pleat of wings.


Mercedes Lawry has published poetry in such journals as Poetry, Rhino, Nimrod, Poetry East, The Saint Ann’s Review, and others. She’s also published fiction, humor and essays, as well as stories and poems for children. She has published two chapbooks: There Are Crows in My Blood in 2007 and Happy Darkness in 2011.