November 1, 2017 orangeq2017

Waters Rising

Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the Lord.
Genesis 21: 33

The West Branch of Allen Creek runs above
ground for a hundred yards behind a grove
of ornamental spruce grown high and wild.

It courses through a small gulley hidden
by maples and volunteer hickories.
Plastic grocery bags snag in their branches.

No millennia of hatred spawned here,
no gods created – or none we know about
yet – just a forgotten clump of trees next
to the Business Route off the Interstate.
They shade unexpected waters rising
between culverts before disappearing
like prayer, ignored beneath our city.



Poet and writer Keith Taylor teaches in the undergraduate and graduate programs in creative writing at the University of Michigan, directs the Bear River Writer’s Conference, and is the poetry editor for Michigan Quarterly Review. His sixteenth collection, The Bird-while, was published by Wayne State University Press February 2017. Fidelities was published in 2015 by Alice Greene & Co. Keith’s work has appeared in such publications as Story, The Los Angeles Times, Alternative Press, The Southern Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Notre Dame Review, The Iowa Review, Witness, Chicago Tribune, and Hanging Loose. Other books are Marginalia for a Natural History published by Black Lawrence Press, and Ghost Writers, a collection of ghost stories co-edited with Laura Kasischke, published by Wayne State University Press.


For more Keith Taylor poems published in Orange Quarterly:

The Forger: His Opportunity

Evening, Late October

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