Where the sentence ends the sentiment burgeons

Corrie Williamson Click to read more...

williamson-pic-1Corrie Williamson is the author of Sweet Husk, which won the 2014 Perugia Press Prize and was a finalist for the Library of Virginia Poetry Award. She is currently at work on a manuscript of poems that travel between modern day Montana, where she lives, and early 19th century Fincastle, Virginia and St. Louis, Missouri, where they trace the voice and history of Julia Hancock Clark, the woman who married explorer William Clark and followed him west. Poems from this manuscript have recently appeared in AGNI, 32 Poems, Terrain.Org, Southern Humanities Review, Quarterly West, and other journals.

Years since the old woman’s grandson turned
early to ash and years since she’s seen the young
woman who was his lover but seeing her now
extends her arms crying you look just the same
as that first day coming up the driveway I saw you
forking hay from a feed trough as the chaff
drifted in the sun and in the long wild loops
of your hair waving and laughing as if I knew you
already and him leaning on the pitchfork and smiling
the black seed of his dying already planted between
his hips brittle and black as a walnut smiling
as if he’d live forever or perhaps as if he knew
but it was all right because that night he would lie
by the young woman below the grandparents’
bedroom with the windows wide and know the yard
gonged with the deep blue temple bells of hyacinth
that the cows sucked moisture from the dark and the owl
in the barn laid her eggs slowly through the night’s
course so that the hatchlings would feed
on one another and the girl’s hair was a great
mystery flowing over him to mix with his
young man’s beard red as falu paint on a Swedish
cottage or red as the tongue of the bowsprit
his brother will invoke not long from now wishing
to launch the body out to sea burning and red
as the ruff of twin foxes who bark and snarl
chasing one another through alfalfa rows until
they both roll showing the golden scythe
of their bellies to the moon and she shows them hers.

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