“Abiding” by Candace Pearson



I sing you forward, I sing you back,
even as the path beyond my window
disappears into cirrus and smoke

I sing you forward, forward but it's a lie:
a sparrow whistling sideways to fool the hawk,
whirlpools refusing to spin

And so I chant, back, back, even as you are all forward motion
and tumbling head first,
not a single second glance

Come, come as angled light, as puff of air,
hear me say your name in morning,
in the fluttering of regret, the reluctant twilight,

thread separating from the cloth. Your body singing,
its rowdy chemistry stilled, a skiff
on an uncharted sea. I sing you back,

 I sing you forward into the sprung-up hope of spring,
into the oak, abiding, into dragonfly and thunder,
a tune so loud it splits the sky

Candace Pearson

Candace Pearson’s poems have appeared in fine literary journals and anthologies; the latter include Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond and Sharing the Seasons: A Book of Poems. Her collection, Hour of Unfolding, won the Liam Rector First Book Prize for Poetry from Longwood University. You’ll find her scratching out her work in a 100-year-old cottage at the edge of the San Gabriel foothills.

Photo Credit: Scott Larsen