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James Engelhardt

Image by Jeffrey Hamilton

Milkweed

black winter husk

gold shell

the pond freshly dug this fall

quarried rocks

anchored and glued

a mallard pair wedge

away from wind

 

I climb down

the dry cascade

to find a sheltered spot

but bluster finds me

whips fall’s leaves

up to my face

and I want to stay

to feel the blind air tangled

by hot and cold

 

I crouch by a sapling

one hand on smooth bark

another on the ground

and I am briefly jealous

of milkweed silk

always letting go

James Engelhardt’s poems have appeared in the North American Review, Hawk and Handsaw, ACM: Another Chicago Magazine, Terrain.org, Painted Bride Quarterly, Fourth River and many others. His eco-poetry manifesto is “The Language Habitat,” and his book, Bone Willow, is available from Boreal Books, an imprint of Red Hen Press. He lives in the South Carolina Upstate, does freelance editing, and is a lecturer in the English Department at Furman University.

About the Artist