September First

From The Kenyon Review, New Series, Summer/Fall 1997, Vol. XIX, No. 3-4

The sky turned over sometime in the night.
While it happened I slept
under a quilt of geese. My throat

felt their beaks utter
a parched good-bye to the dulled gold
surfaces of summer.

This morning the aspen leaves lean toward me.
They are speaking to one another with an intimacy
I’ve never known.

When did I first hear the elk’s
seasonal love-call,
resonant out of the ghost of dusk?

Who taught me to read the sky?
Twitch of a licked index finger.
A page turned in the dark.

Laurie Kutchins is the author of three books of poems: Slope of the Child Everlasting (BOA Editions Ltd., 2007), The Night Path (BOA Editions), and Between Towns (Texas Tech University Press). Her poems have appeared widely in anthologies and periodicals, including The New Yorker, Poetry, Ploughshares, Orion, Georgia Review, Southern Review, West Branch, and other places.