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Metaphor
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I returned to the church house when I couldn’t grieve,
and between the rows of empty pews I found
a hollowness that I could never leave.

The place was dim, but I could still perceive
the spots worn in the pews—lighter, round.
I returned to the church house when I couldn’t grieve

and found the air so still one might believe
no soul had ever been there—not a sound—
a hollowness that I could never leave,

though desperately I wanted to. Receive
salvation mocked the books stacked all around.
I returned to the church house when I couldn’t grieve

but found I couldn’t grieve there either. Relieve
my suffering begged Jesus, thorny-crowned.
The hollowness that I could never leave

ballooned so large I hardly could conceive
of it—pressing on me, pound by pound.
I returned to the church house when I couldn’t grieve
this hollowness that I can never leave.

Nick McRae  

Nick McRae is the author of The Name Museum (C&R Press, 2014), which won the 2012 De Novo Prize, as well as the chapbook Mountain Redemption (Black Lawrence Press, 2013). He is the editor of the anthology Gathered: Contemporary Quaker Poets (Sundress Publications, 2013). His poems appear in Cincinnati Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Southern Review, Third Coast, and elsewhere. He serves as associate editor for 32 Poems and poetry coordinator for the annual Best of the Net anthology. Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and raised in the Northwest Georgia foothills, Nick earned an M.F.A. in creative writing at The Ohio State University and is a Robert B. Toulouse Doctoral Fellow in English at the University of North Texas.

Copyright © 2013 University of Wisconsin Board of Regents
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Nick McRae. "Metaphor." Cream City Review 37.2 (2013): 36-36. Project MUSE. Web. 20 Jan. 2014. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
McRae, N.(2013). Metaphor. Cream City Review 37(2), 36. Department of English, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Retrieved January 20, 2014, from Project MUSE database.
Nick McRae. "Metaphor." Cream City Review 37, no. 2 (2013): 36-36. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed January 20, 2014).
TY - JOUR
T1 - Metaphor
A1 - Nick McRae
JF - Cream City Review
VL - 37
IS - 2
SP - 36
EP - 36
PY - 2013
PB - Department of English, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
SN - 2166-014x
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/cream_city_review/v037/37.2.mcrae.html
N1 - Volume 37, Number 2, Fall/Winter 2013-2014
ER -

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