A Poem by Laura Washburn

The Gathering
     “There will be another eye, a strange one, beside
       our own: unspeaking under its stony lid." –Paul Celan

When the old man comes dragging his sack,
the children run away from the fire.
Sparks snap and glide, then fade. Whole worlds
whistle and break. Even under the perigee moon,
the woods are dark. Moonlight berries soothe
and lure. 	     Children run away from the fire!
The old man has come dragging his sack.

When he drops back into his crevice
and rock, he drags the deep sack behind him.
The gray stone of the third eye knows
in its slow blink every terror in our skulls.
   Hands reach up
to cup us as we gather. Hands reach up,
but dumb, we run away from the fires.

This poem will appear in our Editor-in-Chief’s new collection, The Book of Stolen Images (Meadowlark Books, 2023).

Editor-in-Chief Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize). Her poetry has appeared in such journals as TheNewVerse.News, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, and Valparaiso ReviewHarbor Review’s chapbook prize is named in her honor. The Book of Stolen Images is in the publisher’s hands today and can be purchased from Meadowlark Books.