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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 4, December 2018
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Rebecca Drouilhet
Picayune, Mississippi, USA


Missing a Piece

I gauge the seasons by the tree. I don't know what type of tree it is. It's not even on our property. And it has a serious challenge.

It grows beneath a major power line. Each season workers come and cut out the middle of the tree, leaving the line free to pass through it. Despite these constraints, the tree thrives, its two sides rising from the split like the wings of a great angel. In spring, the verdant renewal of the tree heartens me. I judge the depth of autumn by the widening sky I see between its falling leaves. Winter shows the harshness of its mutilation but in no way detracts from its beauty.

I think of other constraints. The discipline of poetic form. The way paralyzed poet Joy McCall takes me rambling through the woods in transcendent poems. The choreographer who adds the dancer's accidental stumble to the routine to wake the audience up. The crepe myrtle bush that grows more beautiful after a severe pruning.

the limbo bar
a notch lower
once again
I dance to the music
by learning how to bend

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