Summer 2008 • Vol. XXX No. 3 Poetry |

Sheltering Bough

Shelter won't come from the sky. Look: how the trees sway to stand. But they never let you down, and in the dream so closely mirroring this night, storms would hush the world clean and darken the lights that pain the eye and having passed leave only the sounds of collecting water, as if the earth, so bursting with bloom, hungered for a sweet and endless deluge. As you bring yourself to pray for this, you can't find your hands. Bring on the night with its silken torpor. Bring down the moon from her icy perch. She is too relentless and holds all the trees in place. And as for those of lunar temperament, for those for whom habitation is transit, like blue heron huddled by the river bank, those are the ones who build, the ones who haunt, the ones looking for a place to leave.

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Joseph Campana is a poet, arts writer, and scholar of Renaissance literature. He is the author of The Book of Faces and Natural Selections (2012), which received the Iowa Poetry Prize. His poems appear in Slate, Poetry, Conjunctions, Guernica, and elsewhere, and he has received grants from the NEA, the HAA, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Currently he is completing a collection of poems entitled The Book of Life. He teaches Renaissance literature and creative writing in the Department of English at Rice University.

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Shelter won't come from the sky. Look: how the trees sway to stand. But they never let you down, and in the dream so closely mirroring this night, storms would […]

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