Friday, August 5, 2011

After the Storm ~ Chapel Hill, NC, 1985

by Corinna McClanahan Schroeder

He stepped onto the porch and lit his pipe,
inhaled the scent of pine. The hail had sheered
the needles from the trees — the ground now lost
beneath white stones. Sunset’s afterglow threw
its light up from the west, and in the east,
the petulant clouds retreated into black.
How rare, he thought, to see two sides of sky
instead of one blank scope. His pipe to lip,
he paused and listened to the hiss and crack
as the hail sublimed to mist. The vapor rose,
a slow, encroaching fog that masked the earth.
Inside, his wife was sleeping, belly burdened
with child — the undesigned result of love — while here,
the sublimation as form gave way to form. Fear swelled
inside his throat with father — that shape to come.

But overhead, between the east and west,
a distant star established his space, a mark
as ancient as his thoughts. Exhaling smoke,
he watched the fog disperse until no sign
remained — only the slow and steady whir
of summer pushing itself from day to day.

From Measure, Vol. II, Issue 2, 2009

Corinna McClanahan Schroeder
There is a small river that runs between the significant transitions in our lives that poets explore.  After the Storm is a remarkable rendering of one of these, capturing the moment with a quiet dignity.    

Corinna McClanahan Schroeder holds an M.F.A. from the University of Mississippi where she was the recipient of a John and RenĂ©e Grisham Fellowship.  She is currently a Ph.D. student in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California where she holds a Wallis Annenberg Endowed Fellowship.  

Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Tampa Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Cave Wall, and Linebreak. She is the recipient of a 2010 AWP Intro Journals Award in poetry and an honorable mention in Copper Nickel’s 2011 poetry contest, and she is currently a 2011 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship finalist. Read more by following these links ~ Pebble Lake Review, Barely South ReviewGlass:  A Journal of Poetry.  

(used with permission of the author)

1 comment:

Felice said...

Thanks for tweeting this! I love the image of constancy amid change, and facing fear by simply pushing forward from day to day.