A Leveling, poem by Trish Hopkinson (WHEN I MOVED Poetry and Prose Series)

Big thanks to Silver Birch Press for including this poem in their When I Moved series!

Silver Birch Press

red-cliffs-lodge-view-moab-utah.rend.tccom.966.544A Leveling
by Trish Hopkinson

He brought us here, to this juniper desert,
across Midwestern state borders into broken promise,

sloughing family fragments like tire treads along the way.
I-80 rose up like Hell’s Backbone, egoistic and narrow-

sighted with drops on either side of slight rails.
We should have been safe in the valleys,

miles away from Boulder Mountain . . .
And yet I learned to fear altitudes,

the uncertainty of my own feet,
the distant perspective of abandonment.

Two years gone. Maybe it wasn’t long enough.
The knee-locking dread never subsides.

Instead, vertigo sets in on each downward step,
handrails clinched each time I try high heels

and the teetering always sets me down bare.
How can I be bowed into such spinelessness,

faint at the sight of red clay cliffs and sloping pines—
a grand staircase. Father Escalante would pray for me

to forgive. He…

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Categories: Poetry

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