All Souls, in Morning Fog

At dawn a clammy silence wraps the ridge.
Before he makes his tea, the hermit hikes
Through grounded cloud to the summit, the very edge
Of the world. Before him, nothing. The hidden creek’s
Wind-noise speaks to him from the rising whiteness.
A hawk skirls and hangs where the sky clears.
Morning leans through the tatters. The frugal tightness
Clutching his heart relaxes. He’s coughed till tears
Stung in his nose. Breathing, he feels all right.
If he dies on this ridge today — well, where else
Had he proposed to die? A shadow in flight,
The hawk slips into cloud. His rackety pulse
Sounds in his ears, a footfall. Beneath him, everywhere,
Hollows exhale their ghosts. He breathes that air.

Sally Thomas

Sally Thomas's new book, Motherland, was a finalist for the 2018 Able Muse Book Award in poetry, and will appear from Able Muse Press in the fall of 2019. She is also the author of two poetry chapbooks: Fallen Water (2015) and Richeldis of Walsingham (2016), both from Finishing Line Press. Her poetry and fiction have appeared recently in The Agonist, Forma, Mezzo Cammin: An Online Journal of Formalist Poetry by Women, North Carolina Literary Review, The Orchards Poetry Journal, and Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry. She lives and writes in the Western Piedmont of North Carolina.

'All Souls, in Morning Fog' have 2 comments

  1. November 2, 2019 @ 9:56 am Cynthia Erlandson

    This is a really beautiful poem, Sally! It evokes such an appropriate atmosphere for All Souls’ Day. The imagery, especially of the hawk and his shadow, is excellent. “Morning leans through the tatters” is an ingenious line; and the last line is very poignant, as well. And your use of slant rhymes is lovely.


  2. November 30, 2019 @ 9:07 am Bryce Christensen

    A wonderful poem, intense and memorable.


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