Touring Shenandoah with My Husband

He skirts the precipice near Thornton Gap as if the stone
might whisper some small wisdom into his ear,
as if the Appalachians rising around us,
speak through the blooms of berry.

Does this shale hold secrets for those brave enough
to bear the height? If so, they will not confide in me,
I keep my arms stiff around the bristled bark
of an oak grown into the steep slope.

I cannot loose myself from the maelstrom inside,
a willing Persephone, I long for the cool caverns,
the descent into terra firma, to slip
into the dark innards of the earth,

to hear the low groan of stalagmites, bones
building themselves slowly from the earth’s fractures,
he says he feels buried there, that the dark twisting
of hollowed stone confines him.

Here at the gap, I cling stubbornly to soil,
as he leans into the wind.

About the author

Bridget Gage-Dixon is a frustrated traveler who longs to explore more but is limited by lack of funds. Four years ago she made a…

Read the full bio

Issue 07 · November 2009

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