KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 3: Spring 2015
Poem: 183 words

Just the Still World

by Judy Jordan
No need for a place called Eden,
     no need for the fall,
two people cowering before God,
     curses stumbling them forward,

not this December day in the sudden warmth
     of southern wind,
clouds floated down to the trees’ top branches,
sun a soap-spoon skimming suds from the sky
and I’ve pushed through three feet
of snow into the woods
to the creek sludging toward its own distant death,
     an estuarial edge
which will render it without want, nameless.
Today even this in silence, as if that were an answer,
an easy slide toward no future,
                                        oil-black shimmer of presence,
between the untracked banks of snow
like a snake, elegant and sinuous, gliding
     toward the ocean
                            and like a snake,
     uncaring for anything except this one milk-light moment
balanced here in the quiet woods, sun now sputtered to night,
     Callisto and her son slung against the northern sky,
no animal sounds, no wind whisking through birch,
     catkins dark with water,
no words, worry, or bewilderment,
                                               just the still world,
just the spell-bound and sensuous
creek easing toward its salty grave.

—From the author’s third book, Hunger, which chronicles the two years she lived in a greenhouse; the manuscript is with LSU Press.

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