Arteries of traffic, and further,

Brittle skies above town––the trail

Climbs steeply. You and I are breathless,

Dazzled by distant high-rises,

Elevated, removed from war,

Famine, and a brazen man’s

Glib tweets. Here is a simple

Hill, a chance to review plans,

Itineraries, defeats. To be humbly

Jubilant––when even snags and

Kinks are generous spaces!

Lavish houses here welcome people

Minus the riffraff. They keep out

Nagging fears and those lunatic

Oracles spelling out dismal

Predictions. A garden’s lush

Quince trumps my mother’s

Reticent tree, its sparse

Shaded blossoms. Her crammed life––

Tomorrow I’ll call, ask about the cough. 

Unaware of her impediments, she

Ventures into town, greets neighbors,

Wishfully inclined to regard the

X-rays as trifling. Wouldn’t

You do the same, given a restive

Zeitgeist of upbeat connection? 


Leonore Hildebrandt is the author of The Work at Hand and The Next Unknown. A third collection, Where You Happen to Be, is forthcoming with Deerbrook Editions. She has published poems and translations in the Cafe Review, Cerise Press, Cimarron Review, Denver Quarterly, Harper Palate, Poetry Daily, and Sugar House Review, among other journals. A native of Germany, Leonore lives "off the grid" in Harrington, Maine. She teaches writing at the University of Maine and serves on the Beloit Poetry Journal editorial board.