Winner of The Four Way Books Intro Prize in Poetry
selected by Grace Schulman
STRAIGHT THROUGH TO CZECHOSLOVAKIA
Driving east in the bower of an apple-green
as rain wet everything quickly
and the fields, opening,
received their seed, I thought:
have I brought our daughter this far east
to learn there are places
to which she can’t belong;
that once a mind isolates, a veil falls.
(It could be the rain. Or the night inside the night.)
My thinking kept returning
to all those who would like to be here.
The ones who once tied their espaliered pears
to every farm wall.
Those exiles who fled these cobblestone.
Do they still call to one another with light in their soul
every afternoon? Far from home,
over hills like shafts of bolting arrows,
our minds ranging (what is it that
changes inside barbed wire — the rain?),
we drove under the blessings of trees, regardless.