by Susan Ludvigson
Mist closing over the mountains,
the balcony becomes a secret garden,
the only color ruffled petunias and moss roses
in the planter, even the small table
and chairs disappearing against the white
of walls and the silver beyond.
Miniature paradise of a certain kind, yet
look at the invisibility I could walk into.
Who hasn’t felt the draw, the chosen
loneliness of forests, the wish
to enter an abandoned cabin,
to find a plate, a spoon, wild gooseberries
growing in a patch of rocky soil.
A pale wedge of gray begins, backlights
the highest peak, a hazy silhouette
that means the world may soon
return to itself. But
I don’t want the re-emergence
of the roof across the road, the high relief
of perspective. I want to find a bed
with a ragged quilt, a root cellar,
shelves of preserves that might have been there
five or fifty years.
The trees grow so close, ancient
paths are mostly obscured. It’s dark
at what might be noon. If I kept walking,
what then? The wish for a secret garden?
Love in the house where I left it?
Susan Ludvigson has published several books of poetry with
the Louisiana State University Press. Her most recent collection
is Escaping the House of Certainty, and “Closing In” will be part
of a new collection, Sound Stitching Everything. Individual
poems have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Georgia Review,
Southern Review, and The Nation. Ludvigson has also held
fellowships from Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Arts,
Fulbright, and Rockefeller Foundations.
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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary
Volume 7, Number 2
Copyright © 2012
by Leah Browning, Editor.
All future rights to material
published in the Apple
Valley Review are retained
by the individual authors