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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 6, Number 1, March 2012

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Gary LeBel
Cumming, Georgia, USA


Swallows
(Nobleboro, Maine, 1865)

The old cape house drifts on an ocean of Queen Anne's lace . . . Persis, dear girl, go and wash your hands 'fore supper

In the sagging barn attached to the north-facing side, the hayloft door is open . . . leave it cracked, boy, just a bit, for the swallows to come and go

An old apple tree stands in the pasture once an orchard: hunchbacked, wrung and ravaged, it casts its long grey dusty shadow beyond the fence posts . . . I'll be back soon. I'll write often. Don't worry, I'll be alright, and so will you

Winter's inexorable heave has skewed the granite porch steps . . . spare me the letter, John, for I've already read your eyes

The redbrick chimney's tall and plumb . . . his farm is big, Clarissa, a thousand acres they say; 'e comes of good stock, has great ambition, the best of lads for our Persis

Behind the brittle window panes, morning sunlight creeps spider-like along the lath and plaster . . . look, Papa, look! A little one's trying its wings!

Reaching all the way in
the loon's cry touches
what few things do
but as hard as you try to hold it
it sails right through . . .


Note: For HT's progenitor, its first and recent editor, Jeffrey Woodward, who also sees

"the light of other days"
~Joseph Cornell

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