From This Valley

by Avery Smith

I am going
Come August’s end
When the mosquitoes and fireflies
Rise and dance drugged in the
Night on humidity and blood
And other lights
Why do we treat them not all alike
Evangeline asks shrinking back
From the night’s great swarm
Because some of them glow
And some of them bite I say
And slap my skin stinging
Our blood to mingle on my arm
We stare at the stinging shining

When the river holds best
The gaze of the sky
Lingers best in its bed
And holds its banks high from
Thunderstorms shattering
Over our hills and our houses
Our sycamores and redbuds and
Elm trees it douses til the
Haunting sight the one
I never grow weary of
Trees belly-deep in the river
Too eager to remember
It’ll soon all be

When the sun bakes the city
Into a scorching drum
When our leg muscles have turned
Steamy with longing
When we can no more walk these streets
From Broadway to Plum like we did in
June when they’re not Big Strong Men but boys
Taken too soon
When we all want to lie down
Between Main and Race
When it’s the ringing from steeples
And hills we can’t face

I am going I am going oh
They say that I’m going
From this valley this river
From these nights all aquiver
With their sting and your kiss
With glowing gold bliss
From this valley
Then am I going

Avery Smith is from Cincinnati, Ohio. She is currently studying at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, expanding her knowledge of and love for words and new places.

Back to Issue Ten: Winter 2011