The image repeats, back and back in threaded timelike a hall of mirrors, a spinal column ascending,regular, unbending, proud standard of cartilage, bone,disc to lead us up and up. Then a flood of wheaten
gold pouring in, a groundwater carrying saffron, a hintof crimson, palest daffodil cup blonde and wavingin sun. These might be the notches enabling us to climbout of ourselves—and so, hand over hand, the path.
Tracery of bird flight, not mallard or heron straightbut with the woodpeckers' evading, curvy, up, down, up,though still direct from point A to B. Abundant sheer
pleasure of repetition, the day come again—old friend—to serve us. If learning how to live were simple flight—or the magical extension of wings curving to cup air. [End Page 26]
Patricia Clark is Poet-in-Residence and Professor in the Department of Writing at Grand Valley State University. She is the author of four volumes of poetry—North of Wondering, My Father on a Bicycle, She Walks Into the Sea, and Sunday Rising, published in February 2013 by Michigan State University Press. Her work has been featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, appears widely in periodicals including The Atlantic, Gettysburg Review, Slate, and Poetry.