Two Poems by Jay White

That Walk Between the Mountains and the Sea

After that curious illness no doctor could name,
I had to learn to walk again,
A shuffle really, my gait so slow
I thought maybe I was walking posthumously
And this time alone was my penance and my reward.
That stagger trance was unrelenting and uplifting.
A time of sadness and modest revelation.
My coming and going woven
Into one long single breath.
I found this memory of being on an island
where all grief is treated the same way.
By eating wild bitter herbs
Found walking between one ridgeline and another.
I sat on a beach where a woman roasted
Limpets, periwinkles and black crabs over coals.
When she served up the sea,
She wrapped it in a bed of blue chicory flowers,
Then opened my hands to receive it.
She said I needed to walk more
Or I would not be greeted warmly in the village.
She said the dead know very little
And the living know even less about what makes a meal.

Letter from Dead Uncle Charlie

Just dropping in to say,
Your time on earth is backlit with gold.
Your cage was never locked.
There never was a war.
The girl next door never moved away.
As ever, Charlie

About the author

J.P. White has published essays, articles, fiction, reviews, interviews, and poetry in over two hundred publications including Agni, American Poetry Review, Crazyhorse, The Nation, and Poetry. He…

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Issue 25 - Spring 2022

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