PoetryIssue 14 | February 2012

Two poems by Timothy Kercher


Then, I placed my faith
in resurrection
of walls, the naïve
holy water aspergillum
sprinkle to rebirth
a village. I stood
in the skeleton
of houses, concrete-brick
covered lime
riddled with cancer
of field guns. Doused heart-
break of wood in stoves
had been gone for a year. As
through eye-holes, wind
ripped through the windows
of refugees or the dead.
Now, eleven years
removed, I’ve returned: a town
where wisps of wood-
smoke fill the Autumn air
like incense, stars
like bullet holes
in the night’s black-
burial gown. Silhouettes
of houses grow
tall like pines. The village’s heart
beats with a crackle
of wet-wood fire. But where
is my faith? The war’s scars
I knew are covered
and I can’t find bullet holes
through which to poke
my fingers. In the eleven years
between my last day and now
I’ve lost too much
to the endless shooting
stars, a town that is no longer
a husk shucked
like me. It says: Get up
and walk
. I don’t know how.

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About the author

Timothy Kercher has moved from Colorado to the Republic of Georgia and now finds himself in Kyiv, Ukraine, where he is currently editing and translating an anthology of contemporary Georgian poetry. His poems and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in Crazyhorse, The Minnesota Review, Plume, upstreet, Versal, and others.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok