Mar/Apr 2017 • Vol. XXXIX No. 2 Poetry |

Light Years

All summer the northern flickers hammered our conservatory, pitting the cedar cladding with inconsolable ovals. They let the wind in. Battered, the house flexed. My father climbed a ladder, meshed the eaves. No difference.Nothing could stop them. From the upstairs window seat I could see the volcanic surge of their red cheeks working, working. I knew how it felt to wantto drill to the center of the earth, tunnel to the Old World. All summer I sent lettersto a continent so distantit made me think of physics— the Pacific spread out,its impossible witness like light years, a curvature I could not measure.I knew I was farther awaythan time, that when I reentered my hemisphereI would be changed, estranged by all that moondust. Outdoors, the birds nail-gunned on. The damage spread. By fall, my accent shifted. Mountain vowels crept in, nouns curled in my mouth. Finally, we called a man who set traps, mounted a false hawk on the roof. The day the hawk came

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All summer the northern flickers hammered our conservatory, pitting the cedar cladding with inconsolable ovals. They let the wind in. Battered, the house flexed. My father climbed a ladder, meshed […]

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All summer the northern flickers hammered our conservatory, pitting the cedar cladding with inconsolable ovals. They let the wind in. Battered, the house flexed. My father climbed a ladder, meshed […]

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