Two Poems

by Hannah Clark

  • Poetry
decorative header image from Volume IV Issue 1 · Fall 2017

The Edge of the World

I live now at the edge of town, a wild concept to my city friends,

and to myself, until I moved here, hung laundry on a line

for the first time, and walked by staring dogs tied up in yards.

I walk from town; the edges make a mood.

The air, tip of November, and the blurry, quilted sky,

stained with sunlight, is my only question

and it too has a border line. I walk and know

where all things start and end. My shoes crackle

on the gravel and I step off the trail to

trace the rusted train tracks’ flow.

The lines, god, the lines. They drape along the shouldered poles

and past a wire cow-fence. Girdled silos

dot the infinite design of cornfield rows.

I tell my old friends in the city: there really is a place

beyond where dirt, tracks, grass, and sky

convince the stranger into highest company.

My eye reaches to the oldest edge,

the gravity of spaces larger than myself.

A distant dog howls with the wind and I,

framed by all horizons, lose my end.

There Won’t Be Much to Say

“And afterwards there won’t be much to say.”

Burraga pulled the glove off of his hand.

He always did that: butchered meat “in-glove”

as mother put it, when the elk was bare

across the table, her secret places

open to the world. Burraga said his

palms would keep the scent if he skinned a kill

without them on. “Who cares?” I asked. He rolled

his eyes, and then told me all the things

that you could miss if girls said that you smelled.

I listened and wondered how a man

could tell which woman he would want to love.

I thought it came upon you, like a train,

the tickets handed out most every year.

You waited on the platform for a sign

of someone in the car you wished to see.

A wide-brimmed hat would pass you in the crowd.

A handkerchief would wave outside the glass,

and you would board to do these things, which he

thought worthy of the gloves he wore. I asked,

“What happens after?”

“After’s when you pay.”

I looked up to this man, and he at me.

“And afterwards there won’t be much to say.” Rootstalk leaf-bug icon marking the end of the article's text.

Photo courtesy of David Ottenstein

Photo courtesy of David Ottenstein

About Author Hannah Clark
Portrait image of author Hannah Clark.
Photo courtesy of Hannah Clark
Hannah Clark has been previously published in such journals as Tenth Street Miscellany, Cahoodaloodaling, and The Great Plains: A Collection. She enjoys hiking and playing D&D with her husband. She is currently an MFA candidate at Creighton University.