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  • Blue Bowl, and: Crossing Over, and: Vestige, and: As the Dreamer Waits, and: Dark Photograph
  • Eleanor Swanson (bio)
  • Blue Bowl
  • Eleanor Swanson (bio)

What are the colors of the hours?Summer at five am is the blue hour.The sky, the air, the color of a blueporcelain bowl, so delicate and thinyou can read through the glass.

At ten o'clock, a breeze sweepsthrough the willow and the houris thoroughly green if justfor a single moment.

At high noon in late MayI see the colors of Western Tanagersin flight from tree to tree—brilliantyellow and red, heads of glossy black.How quickly they vanish withoutdisturbing the air, their colors afterimages.

Riffing on sunset at eight: I see tangerine cloudsdappled with pale mauve before theyvanish into twilight gray.

Nine o'clock—the color of smoke with hints of silver.Nothing is left except to waitfor nightfall and study black, black,and silhouettes, and observe thebehavior of inanimate objects. [End Page 9]

Eleanor Swanson

Eleanor Swanson is a widely published poet and fiction writer. Her first book of poetry, A Thousand Bonds: Marie Curie and the Discovery of Radium, was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. Her third book of poetry, Memory's Rooms, was published by Conundrum Press. She has published a novel and two short-story collections. Her latest short-story collection, Exiles and Expatriates, won the Press Americana Prize. She has received an NEA and Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowships. She is a core faculty member in the Mile-High MFA Program.

  • Crossing Over
  • Eleanor Swanson (bio)

Voices from the houserise and fade on wind.The yellow lamplightgrows dimmer as she walks

farther into the woods.Hummingbirds whir by,taking her for something newlyhatched, helpless in darkness.

She finds her waythrough trees,feeling the tall grass clingto her clothes, then pull

free with a harsh whisper.The murmur of nightfills her. Everything alivebreathes at once.

She hears a horse's sighbefore she sees him, long flanksshining in moonlight.She runs her hands along his cool neck.

Her fingers sift through the rough mane.He snuffles and steps closer,pawing dirt.She imagines climbing

onto him and galloping away,into the empty night.She rode bareback once, untilthe horse slipped from her [End Page 10] and she fell onto a cinder path.When she was conscious again,she could remember nothing.Was she even alive?

She's alone with the past.The horse whinnies softlyas if readying her for a ridein the tearing wind,

over miles of rough land,a course of flesh beforebones, the infinite future beforethe present, to the pasture's end. [End Page 11]

Eleanor Swanson

Eleanor Swanson is a widely published poet and fiction writer. Her first book of poetry, A Thousand Bonds: Marie Curie and the Discovery of Radium, was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. Her third book of poetry, Memory's Rooms, was published by Conundrum Press. She has published a novel and two short-story collections. Her latest short-story collection, Exiles and Expatriates, won the Press Americana Prize. She has received an NEA and Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowships. She is a core faculty member in the Mile-High MFA Program.

  • Vestige
  • Eleanor Swanson (bio)

Each winter, the boy fell through ice,playing hockey or skating, or justwalking across Wing Lake in Michigan.Usually it wasn't hard to pull himself outof the water and crawl up on the ice.

Clothes freezing already, he'd walk homelike that, in his armor of ice, thinkingof the whipping he was going to getfor almost drowning again.

Later, he compared winter,the season, with the winterof the spiritual life, the periodof gestation preceding rebirth,samsara, the eternal cycleof suffering.

One year, the last he rememberedbeing on the ice, it broke throughwith a loud crack and he droppedto the bottom of the lake.The water...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9930
Print ISSN
0191-1961
Pages
pp. 9-14
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-11
Open Access
No
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