A Village Near the Border
I read about black-backed gulls
in the Gulf of Bothnia
skating under mica-flecked stars
in the heavy, Swedish winter.
The ghost of a large doe floats
down the bank, shimmering
in a confluence of dreams and sirens.
Telepathic, she crosses a frontier
outside my window and,
with no passport to show,
does so with a diffident pride.
I salute, and realize how very close
reality has come to kiss
my fingertips with something like blessing.
If only the words could hold still
long enough for the atoms catapulting
head over heels within me to abate,
I might quit trying so hard
to keep all the lights on
in this village of gray matter
and let the tumble-race
passing for thought subside,
and then, well, with what truth’s left over,
perhaps you’ll believe me
if I tell you we’re nearing
a border where all will be revealed.
About the Author
Marc Harshman’s WOMAN IN RED ANORAK, won the Blue Lynx Poetry Prize and was published in 2018 by Lynx House/University of Washington Press. His fourteenth children’s book, FALLINGWATER, co-authored with Anna Smucker, was published by Roaring Brook/Macmillan in 2017. He is also co-winner of the 2019 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award. Poems have been anthologized by Kent State University, the University of Iowa, University of Georgia, and the University of Arizona. He is the seventh poet laureate of West Virginia.