- Here, and: Walking Into Winter
moonlight on leaves like snowand chime of owlfrom this hollow's heartunder a rib of Humpback Mountaina late-autumn windbroke its teeth against these rocksat sundownand we lean now, startled by a stillnessthat strops our senses keenuntil creekfall—a quarter-mile distant—whispers close as your breathin this wild embrace [End Page 64]
WALKING INTO WINTER
Death is opening the paper heartsof the milkweed, unclasping handsthat held their secretall summer.Coated and mittenedagainst November-cold, I easealong a hillside path and listento the rustle and sift, the small talkof tall stalks in the wind:
they are shaking out their seeds,they are lifting their childreninto thin airon filaments of light—small galaxieswheeling into the world, eachwith one tiny seed-heartasleep, for now, in the centerof its bright basket.
Tomorrow, the rainwill rinse the empty chambers,will wash these hollowed bodiesand slowly lean them downinto the fallow fieldof winter, that dark cradleof every beginning. [End Page 65]
Emily Hancock lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and works as a letterpress printer and hand-bookbinder. She has received awards for her poetry from the Poetry Council of North Carolina and the Oxford Guild of Printers (England), and has been published in the Greensboro Review, Appalachian Journal, and Grey Sparrow Journal.