"One Story House"

Nancy Kuhl


The indifferent backdoor propped open.

Somewhere nearby tides empty the river,


fill it: honest pressures of the moon.

In a family, when something has been lost,


something new can be recruited to take its place.

The threshold, it almost demands action: look


toward the world, its temporary quality

of wholeness or else the parts into which


it is divided.  The frame it makes, that door,

year by year; a structure for seeing, a gap


in the curtain: stage and actors, the astonished

audience. In a family, the way sides are chosen:


if we were talking about the migration of birds,

we'd say the influence of the wind.

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Author Bio: Nancy Kuhl’s recent books include Pine to Sound (Shearsman 2015) and The Birds of the Year (Grenfell Press 2017). She is Curator of Poetry for the Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.