Winter 2007 • Vol. XXIX No. 1 Poetry |

The Countervoice

    Yourself, the rule. Yourself the maker of its exception.         Snow fills the nest's ladle.     Whiteness. Talons clasped, the cardinal sits on the ice-         clipped bough, motionless. Everything     bleached to nothing. The bird's undistracted color: winter's counterpoint.         Should survival require such deliberate     action? That difficult grace called once         in defense, not too unlike a bird     fallen less from flight than instinct. What I wanted was         to know what sadness isn't     in part exhaustion? Something ravenous not ravenous         enough. Unattended to, the nest     naturally spills over; self induced or by accident, the heart         just stops. Like silence: snow drifting,     drifting. Often I thought, if only I could make myself         still

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.
Shara Lessley, a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford, is the author of Two-Headed Nightingale (New Issues, 2012). Her awards include the Mary Wood Fellowship from Washington College, the Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin, and Colgate University’s Olive B. O’Connor Fellowship, among others. A recent resident of the Middle East, Shara was awarded a 2015 Poetry Fellowship from the NEA and is currently editing an anthology of essays on poetry and place with the poet Bruce Snider.

Read More

Letter to Bruce in Paradise, Indiana

By Shara Lessley

    Yourself, the rule. Yourself the maker of its exception.         Snow fills the nest's ladle.     Whiteness. Talons clasped, the cardinal sits on the ice-         clipped bough, motionless. Everything     bleached to nothing. […]

Letter to Rania in Amman

By Shara Lessley

    Yourself, the rule. Yourself the maker of its exception.         Snow fills the nest's ladle.     Whiteness. Talons clasped, the cardinal sits on the ice-         clipped bough, motionless. Everything     bleached to nothing. […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.