Limestone Antithesis

Willows shake there by the water,
a February storm and an engine swap,

exhaust fumes and the music the old woman
next door once sang as a girl

hovering in the static, between power lines
and cable television, biscuits and a bag

of groceries from the dollar store.
I wake up to the sound of my child

on the monitor. There by the water
we dipped ourselves and fed the birds.

Rain turned snow. Snow turned sleet.
Last night’s story melting in the morning

sun, a rocking chair and I read
the little girl something about wolves

and bonnets, another encyclopedia
of color. Maybe it’s like waking up

after a heart transplant, not the organ proper,
but the heart as a wingéd thing,

the soul, you understand, the dead spider
in the toilet bowl what we do

on a daily basis to hold tighter
to what we do. There by the water

we were born again. One day
the old woman next door

will take off in song with the cardinals.
The crows on the chain link.

An ominous thing sitting in a tree.
The roads turn to glass and the trees

shake like crystals. The wind chimes
ease everything back to sleep.

Limestone Antithesis by Clay Matthews

Photo used under CC.

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About Author


Clay Matthews has published poetry in journals such as The American Poetry Review, Black Warrior Review, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. His most recent book, Shore, was recently released from Cooper Dillon Books. His other books are Superfecta (Ghost Road Press), RUNOFF (BlazeVox), and Pretty, Rooster (Cooper Dillon). He teaches at Tusculum College in Greeneville, TN, and edits poetry for the Tusculum Review.

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