The biggest one carries all that weight
inside her it’s a wonder
she doesn’t fall over.
Pull apart her two halves and out
comes another, rouged and ready
to open again. Quiet, and you can hear them
breathe, a tiny ocean
sound in each. Just now a thump
under my ribs says No more room
in this borrowed house. Like cells slowly dividing,
we make our peace by letting go.
It’s almost time. We’re verses
with space in between
for our own small hallelujah. Selah,
the Hebrew word that marks a rest
after each Psalm. I want to say Selah in between
each house on my block, all the sleepers
in soft places. When the wind tore
at our house and I was afraid
the big pine would fall,
we all slept in the front room,
nothing but our breath, covers rising
and falling, a stone–light
through the blinds,
two children and their parents
dreaming. Deeper inside, the unborn
tapped, and the train whistle cried out—
my son says, like someone calling your name.
This selection comes from the book, The Marriage of the Moon and the Field, available from Black Lawrence Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Danielle Hanson.
My poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, Adirondack Review, Sugar House Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, BODY and other journals and anthologies. I am the author of The Marriage of the Moon and the Field (Black Lawrence Press 2019), and winner of New Ohio Review’s inaugural NORward Poetry Prize. I teach at Weber State University and live in northern Utah with my husband and three young sons.
Danielle Hanson received her MFA from Arizona State University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She is Poetry Editor for Doubleback Books and a Senior Reader at Atlanta Review, and was formerly Poetry Editor for Hayden’s Ferry Review, and associate editor for Loose Change Magazine and Carriage House Review. Her work has appeared in over 70 journals and anthologies, including Poets & Writers, Iodine Poetry Journal, Rosebud, The Cortland Review, Willow Springs, Roanoke Review, Poet Lore, Asheville Poetry Review, and Blackbird. She has been on staff at the Meacham Writers’ Conference and the Chattahoochee Valley Writers’ Conference, and completed residencies at The Hambidge Center. She has received several Pushcart and Best of the Net nominations. She is the 2017 recipient of the Codhill Press Poetry Prize, Finalist for the 2018 Georgia Author of the Year Award for Poetry, and 2016 recipient of the Vi Gale Award from Hubbub.
Her second collection Fraying Edge of Sky (Codhill Press, 2018) won the 2017 Codhill Press Poetry Prize, and was previously a Finalist in the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry in 2017, the Wick Poetry Prize in 2017, the Codhill Poetry Award in 2017, the Antivenom Poetry Award in 2016 and 2017, and the Richard Snyder Prize in 2016 and 2017; and was Semifinalist in the National Poetry Series in 2017, the Crab Orchard Series in 2017, the Elixir Press Prize in 2016, and The Washington Prize in 2016.
Her debut collection Ambushing Water (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2017) previously was Runner Up for the 2012 Marsh Hawk Poetry Prize; Finalist for the 2015 and 2016 Robert Dana Prizes for Poetry; the 2015 and 2016 Blue Lynx Prizes; and the 2014 Codhill Poetry Award; and Semifinalist for the 2015 Miller Williams Poetry Prize; the 2012, 2014 and 2015 Crab Orchard Poetry Series; the 2013 and 2014 42 Miles Press Poetry Awards; the 2013 Elixir Press Antivenom Award; the 2015 and 2016 Codhill Poetry Award; the 2015 Washington Prize; and the 2015 Richard Snyder Publication Prize.
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