The National Poetry Review

Heather Hamilton


Love, I speak to you
through sand, through smoke,
through the Goethe State Forest
singing its yearly song of fire.
I speak as the pine speaks,
of shade and burning
and the idea of a clearing.
Love, it is a clearing
I wish for you here.
So here is a clearing.
I wish for you
a little boat to fish in,
and your dearest friends,
un-scattered, to fill it.
Here is a boat.
And here, too,
is the best of Florida,
the children we might
have raised there,
the colors we buried,
meaning to come back for.
Here is the life we carry,
grown in the shape of a house.
Here is the deed
that says yours is a chimney,
a roof sealed against
all hint of weather,
a patch of yard
to dig as you see fit.
Here is the deed
and here, the mark
where I have already signed.

HEATHER HAMILTON is a recent graduate of the PhD creative writing program at the University of Cincinnati. She currently teaches at Penn State Harrisburg. Her work appeared in Birmingham Poetry Review, RHINO, Subtropics, Southern Poetry Review, and Willow Springs, among other journals, and has been featured on Verse Daily.