No longer entre chien et loup, as the French say,
between dog and wolf, that moment at dusk
when twilight bows to darkness. No longer
ache of arch—the lintel planed, there and back
again, the wavering middle. She steps onto
the porch that needs painting, twigs and fluff
from the wren’s attempts in the soffit. Feet
flat in hard knowing, spine to the door smudged
of ghosts, burning sage her laurel garland.
Perhaps she will rebraid the frayed chair seat,
perhaps sit zazen as the gloaming settles
in branches, blue to black. Dog retreats,
wolf waits in the wings, the shape in the shadows
more friend than foe.
Linda Parsons is the reviews editor at Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel. She has contributed to The Georgia Review, Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Southern Poetry Review, The Chattahoochee Review, Baltimore Review, Shenandoah, and Ted Kooser’s syndicated column, American Life in Poetry, among many other journals and anthologies. Her fifth poetry collection, Candescent, is forthcoming from Iris Press. Parsons is also playwright-in-residence for The Hammer Ensemble, the social justice wing of Flying Anvil Theatre in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Artwork: Mary Chiaramonte, Hex