Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 15, Number 1
(Spring 2020)

Copyright © 2020
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

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

A man stepped off the embankment
                       onto the ice
The river was not reliable
                       but he trusted it
the way a couple plunges into love
                       not knowing if it will last
February, the ice could crack under foot
                       not surprising anyone
Assuredly he walked with certainty
                       a kind of belief
He did not need an answer to know
                       his prayer reached its destination
The wind swirled, tossing a confetti of snow
                       onto the broad back of the river
He continued until out of sight
                       Scouring the papers the next day
no mention of a man sliding under
                       though over many nights
I saw one leg, then the other, his torso
                       swallowed too, silently
as if nothing had happened
by Carol V. Davis

Over the Senna River, leaving behind
a giant bronze sculpture of a Buryat woman,
arms draped with a Buddhist prayer shawl.
Past a tiger guarding the city, mouth wide
in a threatening snarl and pairs of leaping deer
on either side of the bridge.

At the end of the city, the last clusters of people
wait for a bus, stamping their feet in the
unforgiving cold, -22 today.
The street now unpaved, small rocks kicked up by cars.
A truck stacked with huge logs struggles over a small incline.
To our left and right the land buried under more snow
than even Siberia has seen in decades.

In the back seat a young woman quietly sings
a mournful Russian folk song, a fitting accompaniment
to a landscape both bleak and beautiful.
Clusters of pines stand like tufts of hair on hilltops.
The road stretches endlessly until
the first wisps of smoke announce a village.
We turn off, greeted by a barking dog and wooden shutters
painted bright colors in this monochrome world.


Carol V. Davis is the author of Because I Cannot Leave
This Body
and Between Storms, poetry collections which
were published by Truman State University Press in 2017
and 2012, respectively.  She won the 2007 T. S. Eliot Prize
for Poetry for
Into the Arms of Pushkin: Poems of St.
, also from TSU Press.  Her poetry has been read
on National Public Radio, at the Library of Congress, and on
Radio Russia.  Twice a Fulbright scholar in Russia, Davis
taught in Siberia over the winter of 2018 and currently teaches
in California at Santa Monica College and Antioch University
Los Angeles.   

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