Mennonite Poetry Home | Leonard Neufeldt



Time as Distance

The moon losing itself
in the chalk sky of morning, fog
shouldering the black ridge
of Vedder Mountain beyond the abstract.
A kind of conversation
with readiness, a beginning
like recovery

as you close the front door, find ways
around the bulldozed stacks of wreckage
in the cleared land to trails black-tailing
through cedars, cottonwoods, poplars,
willows, quaking aspen, your lungs
heaving less along new cut-banks
of the river, their overhang of soil
like a too large hairpiece, past
bars of gravel and sand
and their skeletal estimates
of the channel’s hard exchange
with what has been

You’re back, knowing that one day
time will eat you alive, but for now
you try to outwalk the fly darting
just ahead like a stubborn floater
on the edge as you leave the woods
for the clover's aftermath,
a field cut weeks ago, its green emptiness
pimpled here and there with molehills
greying in the sun now overhead
as if for the first time,
                                    your face flushed
as the world around you measures
time as distance, not the way
you’ve come but as ways of conversation
preceding, following, interrupting,
altering separately yet of a piece

the uncommon common
like the sudden point of mirrored light
from a truck just now barely visible
against the blue of Lady Peak, and here
the hayfield's broad shine
narrowed where you stand

©Leonard Neufeldt. Event, Vol. 47 (2018). 




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