Three Poems by Devon Miller-Duggan

By Devon Miller-Duggan


The Birth of Snow

Forget mountains and that mountains
converse with everything above and below them,
all the way from perfect cold to perfect heat.

Forget clouds and all the other unreliabilities of air.

0720140637Forget that one extreme preserves
and one renders.

Forget water as it rolls and shatters, forget
water dispersing itself, forget
water gathering itself into mountains.

Forget angles of the sun.

Forget frost, crystallization, and freezing.

Forget the air arranging and acknowledging
the presence of your breath.

Forget the constant shushing arrival of each
distinct iota of white.

Forget the words for white, for falling, for cold.

Remember, this is the water that makes its way
past the greed of trees and growing things.
This is the water that solaces the earth.


At the Writers’ Convention

More than one poet
employs the cartoon image—
a character suspended in the air
beyond the rim of a cliff—
it’s always a sharp rim, undercut and branchless—
the character hangs there, feet peddling the air,
hope hanging over physics—
you call it physics even though
you think you know
even physics can’t explain
inevitability—no matter how the character
keeps peddling air.
And you, you ride the escalators
wondering when this became
core metaphor for
those with faith
and those without.



Atheists, failures, dentists, holy rollers,
Southern gentility, Northern farmers, suicides
And the inventor of invisible suspenders:
My address is treehouse.
Forward nothing.

Devon Miller-Duggan has published poems in Rattle, Margie, The Indiana Review, Harpur Palate, The Hollins Critic, and a blessedly long time ago, one entirely embarrassing mimeographed little magazine with a pencil drawing of a kitten on the cover. She’s won a couple of prizes. She teaches, mostly for the Department of English at the University of Delaware, and tries to get to someplace with mountains in it at least once a year. She loves driving across the panhandle of Texas. Her first book, Pinning the Bird to the Wall, appeared from Tres Chicas Books in 2008. Her chapbook, Neither Prayer, Nor Bird, appeared from Finishing Line Press in 2013.

Cover photo and illustration photo by David Nilsen.

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