by Lisa Zimmerman

Before dawn the vet’s truck appears,
headlights a twin glow above
the dirt road.  Invisible horses breathe
the steady dark, my bay mare
beside me, an ancient tree I lean against.

The body is not a machine
like science says.
It is years of gallop and graze,
dark gleam of summer
in the liquid eye, going on forever.

Horses are invisible
when there’s no moon, no cold stars.
They don’t whinny or startle
when the truck crosses gravel
and parks by the fence, ticking.

My mare is an old warmth
under my hand, winter fur
and a slow heartbeat sounding
from the giant room in the house
her ribs had built for it.

When the vet asks me
if I’ve done this before
I say never and he tells me
how it will go and I tell my mare how—
and never was I prepared for

the great tower of her to come down
and land bone heavy on the earth,
for the sun to erupt out of nowhere
and make visible everything
living and dead.

by Lisa Zimmerman

My younger daughter’s first tattoo
is a window, two birds inside one inked square.
Hard to tell if they fly into or out of her body.


I know a woman who chronicles her grief
in poem after poem as her body dissolves into smallest
windows of lace the doctors can’t see through.


In a town in Wyoming my son looks through the window
of a newspaper box labeled “Free Poems” and chooses one at random
and reads it to me over the phone. Light and time balance

the brief hour of a solstice sun and when I watch a small fish
break the murky window of the lake behind the house
for a moment I am not sad about anything.


Lisa Zimmerman’s poetry and short stories have appeared or
are forthcoming in
Cave Wall, Indiana Review, Colorado
, Poet Lore, Natural Bridge, and other journals.  Her
books include
The Light at the Edge of Everything, which was
published by Anhinga Press in 2008, and
The Hours I Keep,
which is forthcoming from Main Street Rag.  Zimmerman lives
in Fort Collins, Colorado, and is an associate professor at the
University of Northern Colorado.

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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 11, Number 2
(Fall 2016)

Copyright © 2016
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.