Like some Sunday afternoon, my years emerge—
a car ride through the country then the city then back,
the maple trees, flax fields, rivers: a distance
but so close that memories are puffs of air on my closed eyes
and so it goes, and so I go like everyone
existing in small rooms, waiting.
Listen, there is the lifting of self
of awareness God-high, or is it moving ever inward
to the soft places? And outward to the ocean? Or the real gift—
the way the birds come just close enough but not exactly to
your outstretched hand, and simply wait
for you to drop the bread.
There’s waiting, and there’s distance.
There’s the self opening like ribbon unfurling
to the slanted horizon,
to the room full of light,
to that word—we won’t talk about it—
love, such generous and dangerous depth.

Front page image by Les Chatfield.

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Paige Riehl

About the Author

Paige Riehl is the author of Blood Ties, a poetry chapbook published by Finishing Line Press fall 2014. Her poetry has appeared in Meridian, South Dakota Review, Nimrod International Journal, and more. She won the 2012-2013 Loft Mentor Series in Poetry and the 2011 Literal Latte Prize for Poetry. She is the assistant poetry editor for Midway Journal and teaches literature and writing at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, where she is also the chair of the Two Rivers Reading Series.
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