Nomadic Flow

Steve Myers


& returned to eastern Pennsylvania, some thirty years gone,
                                                                                                      saw that the light of the light-
liberal sun broke in perfect sequence of crest & trough for 2:35 in the afternoon of a 24th
of June, its angle to the thigh-high corn perfect      for Pennsylvania that time/place/date/
             my heat-perceiving skin parsing the flow of photons & deeming them perfectly
nuanced, according to the calendar, at the precise point we were taking it all in, Vera Cruz
Road, Road of the True Cross, Lehigh Cnty,        eastern Pennsylvania,  
                                                                                                                     my wife & I the two
red pushpins at specific coordinates of the modern global positioning system, two black crows
hecklejeckling us from the branch of a beech, burly       Pennsylvania-looking wannabe ravens,
& spittin’
                images of those I knew from the June-tarred-&-graveled, roadkill Upper Mountain
Road I grew up on, some 28 miles & change away, as they fly, Bucks Cnty, south/southeast
of there,         

              my brain waves streaming high-alpha, tending endocannabinoid w/remembering vast
pastures of clover, lace filigree of wild asparagus, backyard lilacs,       intoxicant Pennsylvania honeysuckle tendril-wrapping phone poles drenched redolent w/creosote,

                                                                                                                              rhythms of night
baseball on the radio, rhythms of corn dryer disc harrow Massey Ferguson combine harvester,
mating call of the winter owl, cattle-snuffle in the stalls,

                                                                                                their solidity, the forehead bone-
armored, a flat smack on flank, the palm smarting,     
                                                                                     quick fingers of farmers’ wives at kitchen
tables, shelling peas, black fan whirring & turning, water beads on iced tea glasses, iced tea glasses pressed to flushed cheeks,
                                              bronzed left arms of men on the road for a living all      Pennsylvania
               farm foreman’s hard brown hands, cupping the body of a broke-winged dove, turning
it into him, cradling & stroking & speaking to it, low sing-song, little lullaby, fingers slow-
tightening on the head, a tender vise, the brisk twist, so many   

                                                                                                        mercies of Pennsylvania,
& kindnesses:                                                                                                           

                       the local librarians’ hushed intimacies, two heads bent together over an open
book, one smiling & pointing, the other nodding,
                                                                                     staccato-scratch of chairs, the church choir
risen w/the near-hidden heaven-lift of the organist’s hand, as if preparing to lead them there,

black sleeve sliding back, silvery bracelets sliding down her perfect forearm:     “What a friend
we have in Jesus, / all our sins and griefs to bear!”  
                                                                                    the dairy farmer, stumbling into the milkhouse,
4 a.m.          in Pennsylvania, arm around the shoulder of his young son, murmuring,  
                                                                                                                                            the widow,
explaining the new arrangement, “how things must be!” to her clueless husband, who passed last February but will not leave,  
                                              the proud new husband, paying off the preacher w/a turkey call
he’s carved by hand,
                                    the smalltown lawyer/fisherman, willed 500 tied flies by a boyhood friend,

the fisherman like a surgeon, intent on removing a hook from your fleshy hand, opening day
of trout season,
                            the grade school janitor, who, seeing your loneliness, kept his lunch hour free
to teach you chess,
                                 the languid neighbor in summer-half-undress, her voice a Southern simmer,
her hot, coppery, suntanlotion skin, watching you sip your cream soda & stare at her & her not
           the summering spinster Quaker sisters in their fieldstone home, their hands like evening swallows, their books that flew into your hands, how you cradled them, & in your midnight
attic room opened them, heart quickening, as the black-robed preacher the chancel bible, loosing

                  poeraven, aesopowl, grimmfitchersvogel, ledaswan, firecrow, thunderbird,

The River’s Mesozoic flow ongoing, the wingbeat wild, unceasing in the flyway of the mind.


Steve Myers has published a full-length collection, Memory’s Dog, and two chapbooks. A Pushcart Prize winner, he has published sections of his Pennsylvania poem sequence in places such as Here, Kestrel, Permafrost, The Southern Review, Stone Canoe, and Tar River Poetry.