Judith Skillman is a resident of Newcastle, Washington and a dual citizen of US and Canada. Her work has appeared in Cimarron Review, Threepenny Review, Zyzzyva, and other journals. She is the recipient of awards from Academy of American Poets and Artist Trust. Her new collection is A Landscaped Garden for the Addict, Shanti Arts Press , 2021. Visit www.judithskillman.com
reed hills take the brunt
of wailing flung from wind,
and, where an arm reaches up
from the ground,
beneath mulch and dirt
shoveled in, only the exposed root
of a plane tree, elbow-bent and knotted,
hints at the body below.
Time goes by unaccounted, seasons
take. Thistles and scotch broom,
a few transplanted bouquets
of rosemary, trapped in hollows,
bend and mourn their once green-tipped
scent. An oboe of bone, a bit of wire—
concertina, leftover from the other war,
or the one after.
Come to the empty bowl
your head covered as if you
are a woman flying like Lot’s wife
up a steep path. Others will follow.
Come to the music of ghost notes,
the body of migrating birds
searching as one bird southward
in the throes of dispersion.