by Lauren Camp


We are not all the arrowed
nation, not the action
or paralysis. I wake to stand each morning in the center
of this property’s velocity, mouth open
to feel the perfect pitch
of my cerebrum. I won’t be caught
reading despair, only news
of the trees. The oaks flay
some leaves. The maple weeps its branches.
Birds practice their scales in the shadows
and their voices wing out
abundant. Further on, hills with their wayward
rolling, and below, the white clover
pulls through the greening.
Momentary holy. Moist dirt.
I call this beautiful because it is
fractions of worry I won’t
think. I unthink. I stretch
through day with its idle and pasture
and the past that immediately preceded this
with its pasture and idle.
The world will stay perilous.
There is a surge of faith: clouds and eagles and a jar
of moss. To grow solace is to measure light
as a purpose. We could unlabel
the world with the blade
of a pencil. All day, given time,
turning a line that says I might
travel this way again.


LAUREN CAMP is the author of five books, most recently Took House (Tupelo Press), which received the American Fiction Award in Poetry. Her work has appeared in Kenyon Review, Poem-a-Day, New England Review, and Prairie Schooner. Honors include the Dorset Prize, finalist citations for the Arab American Book Award and the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, and a fellowship at the Black Earth Institute. Her poems have been translated into Mandarin, Turkish, Spanish, and Arabic. www.laurencamp.com


Photo: “Droplets on white clover” by Takashi Hososhima