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Refingering the Chords for “Blackberry Blossom”

From: The Missouri Review
Volume 36, Number 4, 2013
pp. 104-105 | 10.1353/mis.2013.0106

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Dragged by the leash down to the creek edge—
sand and pebbles, platter-size beaches
and muddy flats, bars and shoals the length

of place mats, half-foot depths along
the cutbank curve—a river modeled

in miniature, its source mall and turnpike runoff,
its path the way of least resistance, its end
in the end the Potomac, the bay, the air,

and then—who knows?—snow in Labrador.
I let the dog lap up a mouthful, cool his feet,

sniff what he sniffs, reviewing the creek’s
recent memories—deer, dogs, kids, foxes…
It’s been a week since the last real rain.

I’m more inclined toward other distractions—
the whether, how, how soon. There’s science

for what happens next, chance rules just
in the short run. We keep on, our path
automatic underfoot, around the washed-out

roots of a poplar, past a broad holly,
whose shade is so dense only moss survives it,

and over a fallen maple. Boneset flowers
in the dappled places and blackberries
(we stop to check for ripe ones

in summer, in spring I think of the fiddle tune
and often of Steve or Maggie, old friends

who loved to play it, and wonder
if thirty years on they play it still) and then
we’re at the woods’ edge and step out

into unmown open field: dusk’s swifts
and martins wheel across the high grass tips

in summer their undersides flashing buff. The dog,
being dog, can’t help but want to snatch them
like moths from the air. I, being human,

can’t help but admire and wish and fret.
This field is Memorial land. When the dead

have used up the landscaped grounds
beyond the rise, management will mow,
fertilize, and spray so more bodies can be buried.

By then, of course, the dog and I won’t care.

Jennifer Atkinson  

Jennifer Atkinson is the author of four collections of poetry. The most recent, Canticle of the Night Path, won Free Verse’s New Measure Prize in 2012. Poems have appeared in journals including Field, Image, Witness, New American Writing, Poecology, Terrain and Cincinnati Review. She teaches in the MFA and BFA programs at George Mason University.

Copyright © 2013 The Curators of the University of Missouri
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Jennifer Atkinson. "At the Chernobyl Power Plant Eco-reserve, and: Landscape with Translucent Moon, and: The Understory, and: Landscape with Peregrine Falcon and Hart Crane, and: Refingering the Chords for “Blackberry Blossom”." The Missouri Review 36.4 (2013): 99-105. Project MUSE. Web. 22 Jul. 2014. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Atkinson, J.(2013). At the Chernobyl Power Plant Eco-reserve, and: Landscape with Translucent Moon, and: The Understory, and: Landscape with Peregrine Falcon and Hart Crane, and: Refingering the Chords for “Blackberry Blossom”. The Missouri Review 36(4), 99-105. University of Missouri. Retrieved July 22, 2014, from Project MUSE database.
Jennifer Atkinson. "At the Chernobyl Power Plant Eco-reserve, and: Landscape with Translucent Moon, and: The Understory, and: Landscape with Peregrine Falcon and Hart Crane, and: Refingering the Chords for “Blackberry Blossom”." The Missouri Review 36, no. 4 (2013): 99-105. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed July 22, 2014).
TY - JOUR
T1 - At the Chernobyl Power Plant Eco-reserve, and: Landscape with Translucent Moon, and: The Understory, and: Landscape with Peregrine Falcon and Hart Crane, and: Refingering the Chords for “Blackberry Blossom”
A1 - Atkinson, Jennifer
JF - The Missouri Review
VL - 36
IS - 4
SP - 99
EP - 105
PY - 2013
PB - University of Missouri
SN - 1548-9930
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/missouri_review/v036/36.4.atkinson.html
N1 - Volume 36, Number 4, 2013
ER -

...



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