Back to Issue Two.

Late Winter Parallax



There are different ministries, but the same
breath, feeding on holy sticks.
One stares point-blank, blank-
eyed at me in the window.
We are so close,
I pretend to be invisible.
One watches
while the others doze, faces tucked
to warmish flanks. The broad-cheeked
one guards. But in the hour it lowers,
a faint smile in sleep. Is it gratitude? No,
the deer are not an annoyance. They are like
the snowy boughs in sun. Ardent like my own
delight. I admit that in the wide sprawl
of a secret, I have stopped in the midday
raiment, and seen the manna sparkle like lichen.
So many limbs, the sturdy hemlock
and this silent mimicry. They sleep
just out of reach. I reach
breathless at their breathing – such gestures,
the stretched neck, the seeking after.

Rebecca Kaiser Gibson has had poetry published in AGNI, The Greensboro Review, FIELD, The Harvard Review, The Boston Phoenix, Mothering, Antigonish, Northwest Review, MARGIE, Pleiades, and Slate, and has had work reprinted in an anthology called Cadence of Hooves. She has published two chapbooks: Admit the Peacock and Inside the Exhibition. She received a 2008 Artist Fellowship in Poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and has been awarded residencies from the MacDowell Colony and The Heinrich Boll Cottage on Achill Island, Ireland. She teaches poetry at Tufts University and, as a Fulbright Scholar, taught poetry in Hyderabad, India last winter.