Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

How Far

BY LIZ ROBBINS

Four women have set up chairs by the lake. The wind carries
           the tilt of their gossip, the dust of their chain-smoking.
How easily I slip into judging.
 
The lake, too, is cool, holds thoughts of green things born
           and gone. I’m old enough to have outgrown every idea
of normal. How far from a miracle
 
am I? How far now from the women? I squint and maples
           ringing the lake like soldiers become a family holding
hands. I’m swimming toward
 
a feeling akin to a belt loosening, yet never the end release.
           It’s September. The leaves have turned to blood
again. Somewhere behind, women unaware
 
of their goodness. I never lose them fully to smoke and ash.
           I remember. Even among the dying, a boat trip holds
hope: the forward motion, the staring out,
 
dreaming a destination.



Liz Robbins' third collection, Freaked, won the 2014 Elixir Press Annual Poetry Award; her second collection, Play Button, won the 2010 Cider Press Review Book Award. In 2015, she won the Crab Orchard Review Special Issue Feature Award in Poetry and, in 2016, was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by Fugue. Her poems have appeared in Adroit Journal, Beloit Poetry Journal, BOAAT, Cimarron Review, Denver Quarterly, Kenyon Review Online, Rattle, and Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac. She has poems forthcoming in Salt Hill. She’s an associate professor of creative writing at Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL.