Beyond The Mountains by Julia Knobloch

Beyond the snow mountains in the east,
a friendly giant kept watch over a land
where yellow-striped umbrellas swayed
in the afternoon breeze and birds swirled
around self-absorbed lovers dazed by a waving
sea of swamp grass bending time and space
until nothing was left but silence.

At year’s end, a white peacock spread his fan,
and the snow fell ever so slowly and softly.
It covered strawberry blossoms,
orange flowers,
lavender fields —
wait, what else? I don’t remember.
But I won’t forget how a crackling fireplace
was the only source for sound and light.

Sometimes I still visit the old rooms where the curtains whisper,
I step out on the deck, where the leaves rustle,
just to find the chair where I left it for him,
the sunny spot he loved so much —
before he yelled, Well, fuck your deck!
before our land of September
slipped through the friendly giant’s fingers.

No place to sit for us now, never,
in the wise endearment of our life’s late evenings,
of fifty years well spent together — golden,
as people say they are and as the sky is right now,
over the islands in the Upper Bay.

Julia Knobloch is a journalist and translator turned project manager and emerging poet. She recently won the 2017 Poem of the Year prize from Brooklyn Poets. Her writing can be found in Green Mountains Review, Yes, Poetry, in between hangovers, poetic diversity, and with Brooklyn Poets.

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