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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 1, March 2015

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Gary LeBel
Cumming, Georgia, USA


A Sparrow Will Swerve

. . . the sleep which lay heavy upon the furniture . . .
                                                                 —Marcel Proust, Swann's Way (tr C. K. Scott Moncrieff)

Snow will have left its drifts on the gravel road, the roof, the porch, the railings. The narrows of the lake will shine in pale sunlight, a vein of quartz in alabaster.

Half-lit beneath the ice, a languid fanning of gills will fuel the pickerel's cold and sleepless hover.

Inside the cottage, every surface–table-dresser-chair-bedspread-window-doorknob-sink–will have learned the harsh and brittle dialect of late December . . . except for mirrors,

      for in the icy stillness of their rooms, the things they've seen and held will flare up now and then
like flames from silver underworlds,

returning glances and passing vanities, vignettes of summer mornings and afternoons, the often strange and supple depths we come to know as 'family' . . .

image      and sometimes on bitter evenings

a jetting sparrow will swerve aside,

            surprised by a flash of light

through a darkened window.

      The lakeshore's ablaze
      with spring splendor
      but leaving my shoes by a stone
      I wade all afternoon
      through the past

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