Passing By

George Moore

Ventspils, Latvia

Early morning and the forest path is empty
but for the woman sweeping with a broom of sticks

moving leaves off the packed dirt with twigs cut
of black wood. And the city may not see her

like the last worker doing her chore on a Soviet morning
dusting the dust from the trail gathering leaves

into dark shadows. She sweeps in long curves
in a kind of dance solitary and intent on her partner

the anima in a veil of trees. Like clockwork each day
in my self-absorbed run I come upon her.

She does not look up nor move more than a foot
to either side. But the path is her line through history

the forest her country loosed from the grip of commissars
and she sweeps with a sense of freedom.

If I or the city do not see her it does not matter.
She cleans where once she moved dirt and leaves.


About the Author

George Moore has published poems in The AtlanticPoetry, Orbis, Arc, Stand, Orion, Lowestoft Chronicle, and Colorado Review, and his poetry collections include Saint Agnes Outside the Walls (FurureCycle 2016) and Children’s Drawings of the Universe (Salmon Poetry 2015). He has attended residencies in Latvia, Spain, Portugal and Greece, and last year was shortlisted for the Bailieborough Poetry Prize and long-listed for the Gregory O'Donoghue Poetry Prize. He lives on the south shore of Nova Scotia.