Angie Crea O'Neal


after William Wordsworth

Remember the thick-pined
woods behind the old chicken
coop? How we swept

the forest floor looking
for golf balls lost from the
course next door; the joy of
finding one submerged in
the litterfall of longleaf pines
like a forlorn easter egg—
childish logic, having such
faith in what we could hold,
how many cicada shells we
could carry from the deep,
cached in coffers brimmed
with summer.

We only heard the thrumming
music of bodies; never noticed
day molting its golden shade,
sky unloosened, emptying its
harvest in the curve of light

shadows breaking beneath
shoots of wings, thin as timbal.

Her voice, calling us

how, in time, we'd learn to see
such grace in the world: last light
unfastening the dark, setting
us back into our shells,

wingless out of rust-buckets
undone, we'd fly like wonder
from the hollow trees.

Angie Crea O'Neal holds the Joan Alden Speidel Chair in English at Shorter University in Rome, Georgia. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming from San Pedro River Review, Kentucky Review, The Cumberland River Review, and Kindred. Her poem "When the moon tells us of losses" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015.

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