Laura Cherry

The Glacier
Issue One
Fall 2022

Our Former Address

We got along, you and I,
like a house afire:
loose papers, odd pencils catching
first, the hanging fringe
of an afghan, dusty curtains
edging in light. Strewn clothes.
The kindling of small tables
and rickety kitchen chairs.
Pressed-wood cabinets
and their jars of spices popping,
each a minor firework.
Old floorboards warming and singing,
walls grinning in flame, windows
weeping with laughter.
We brought the roof down, didn’t we,
dear one. We left nothing behind.


It took twenty years for the dogwood branches
to fill the second-story windows. Slow-growing,
and not the frothy pink flowers we planned: 

these are coral that fade to stippled beige
and last for months. Unanticipated, like
the many ways we failed each other

that last painful year. You gone after an eon
of trying and everything better
though so much lost. It's not my privilege

ever to see you happy now, or to see this tree
without remembering when I still could.
All spring, all summer, first beauty, then memory,

pretending I am slowly gaining wisdom,
my eyes full of the flowers I never imagined
would be just mine.

Crossing the Water

A bridge and a tunnel have 
the same concern, but
express it differently,

one soaring, one burrowing.
They rarely meet, if ever,
but think how much they'd have

to talk about – it'd be like 
finding your lost twin 
through the looking glass – 

how the river rises up, 
presses down, shines, gulps.
Its deep cold. And the people,

those frantic ants, with their many
tiny dramas en route: death, of course, 
perhaps also birth. Their hubris

in thinking you can leave here
to get there. 
In rare quiet moments,

while humans dream
of the other side, bridge and tunnel
can hear each other hum.

How She

Finally, I was inconstant
and undarling, my great fears.
Tell it oblique, she urged
me – ever at the confessional.
With her red lips. Her shut door.
And the one she made for me
I never loved or understood.
August, January, March, May
and nothing. The next August,
gone. Nor did I inquire.
How she wrote, with fine tools
setting one jewel by another,
overseeing a small shine.
The creatures and trees, her
tiny back garden, her wide mind.

LAURA CHERRY is the author of the collection Haunts (Cooper Dillon Books) and the chapbooks Two White Beds (Minerva Rising) and What We Planted (Providence Athenaeum). She co-edited the anthology Poem, Revised (Marion Street Press) with Robert Hartwell Fiske, and her work has been published in journals including AntiphonEkphrastic ReviewLos Angeles ReviewCider Press Review, and DMQ Review.

Artwork by David Dodd Lee.
© The Glacier 2022. All rights reserved.