Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Luray Gross: Epistemology I

Before the concert, the oboe player 

slipped off one red pump

and slid it back on. Then 

her breath filled the space

with plaintive sound. 


She sat right in front of us, 

close, yet distant 

as the deer that make their way 

up from the valley while we sleep,

their hooves denting the mossy lawn.


And the one that leapt across River Road,

scarcely touching the right fender,

before disappearing into a field—

maimed or not, I’ll never know.


Nor will I know, most likely,  

just what brushed against my hand  

as it flew into dusk, its flight

the slightest whirr.


I imagine it a perky house wren, 

familiar with us from walks

past the wood’s edge where it forages,

chattering and wagging its saucy tail.


How many evenings 

does it nestle in the clothespin bag

hanging at the corner of the shed?


This is the world I want,

felt as much as seen or heard.

Nearly held, nearly known.

This world, 

not the implausible next.

Copyright 2019 Luray Gross. From Lift published by Ragged Sky.

House Wren (Audubon Field Guide)

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