Remember the days of the week, the way the sun
rose and fell, the duplicitous stars, the afternoons
that leaned against the house like summer screens,
the spellbound waves, the trees that loved me
I saw how words kept everything from floating away
or coming too close. I saw a stone release its ghost
and did not fall to my knees. I saw the past like moonlight
on the blanket of childhood, a place where no one knew
and no one said. And that’s how I became unworthy of prayer.
But I have not turned my back on gravity, its kindness,
its solicitous grip, nor on the clouds that comfort and obscure.
I am sure I have not met the good me. Maybe she lives
in a dwarfed world in the bath of a newborn, or more likely,
in dark refusal to just walk away.
Linda Hillringhouse holds an MFA from Columbia University. She was a first-place winner of the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award (2014), a second-place winner of Nimrod’s Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry (2012), and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize (2020). Her work has appeared in Lips, New Ohio Review, Paterson Literary Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from the Macdowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her recent book of poetry, The Things I Didn’t Know to Wish for (New York Quarterly Press) was shortlisted for the Eric Hoffer Book Award Grand Prize in 2021.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: lindahillringhouse.com
ROOM is entirely dependent upon reader support. Please consider helping ROOM today with a tax deductible donation. Any amount is deeply appreciated.