Deborah Cummins Click to

Deborah Cummins is the author of three poetry collections and, most recently, Here and Away, a collection of linked essays, one of which was listed as Notable in Best American Essays 2013. Her work has appeared in eight anthologies and more than sixty journals. Currently, she is board president of Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance and resides in Portland, Maine.

But there is no crash or shatter.
Only a hush, a slow rousing,
the eider ducks’ merest mutterings.
Light seeps into the sky

as though leaking from unfurled
fingers, and here, delivered
on an open palm, the bay against the sky
a margin of incandescence.

One by one, larks vie
for most intricate solo. An onshore wind,
helping things along, articulates
snaking ribbons of tidal current.

I, too, almost inexorably, start
to move into morning tasks, projects
I may not finish before this day’s lingering
is extinguished. But how abrupt

the radio’s news reminds me
that elsewhere on this insistent, revolving planet,
one more war lifts its head, awakened
or having never slept. In some other place,

in its morning’s first scattering light
bereft of bird-song and leaf-toss,
a village is blasted into rubble,
and a soldier, too young to have to know

such despair, dodges crosshairs.
A short while ago, he shrugged off half
a moon. Now he goes down with half a face
as all around him, day breaks.


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