At the Edge – Gloria Nixon-John

of the alfalfa field
where trees stand solemn,
there are deer who remain startled
even in sleep, like mothers looking out
of  windows in Detroit,

and closer in
                            there is a shore

where all of the pain washes up,
stones as smooth as eyes
digits of bleached bone
feathers the color
of another woman’s lips,   but

here in the judicious center

feet up on the ottoman—
vessel ebbing, flowing
horizon dropping
softly like a scrim, here

at the center,
but only in dreams

we dare to run
to the edge of the field,
to glimpse the buck
whose mossy antlers balance above
the pounding feral heart.

Gloria Nixon-John has published poetry, fiction, essays and pedagogical articles and chapters in small and mainstream presses. Her novel, The Killing Jar, is the story of one of the youngest Americans to serve on death row— published in 2012 and her Memoir, Learning From Lady Chatterley, written in narrative verse, was published in 2015. Gloria lives with her horses, dogs, cats and husband, Mike in Oxford, Michigan where they are also visited by abundant wildlife.