After Susan Jamison


She stands
Held in night and silver.
Everyone who comes waits
for her eyes to widen and explain,
all unknowing of the briars
That settled her stone, her silence.
They refuse to believe
She is calm;
in death, free,
unbroken by demand or laughter.
Stitched tight
When stroked back,
the pattern of scales is smooth,
but pet against the grain
and your hand will catch,
a reminder of life.
Left to her thoughts
the air around the woman rises,
rings from beyond, wind shivers
through reeds and shakes
the earth, and, at once, branches snap.
She stands,
Held in night,
Eyes wide now, just like they wanted;
her irises gleam silver but explain nothing
of her name, her history.
There is no sound in this night
of black. They run their hands through
fog and try to keep her, contain her.
And, yet, in the darkness, about them
She walks.



A Southerner by birth, now transmitting from the West, I explore place and history in my work. I hold an MFA from New York University, have held residencies at Vermont Studio Center, and my writing has been published in The Stirling Spoon and Abe’s Penny.