The great clock of your life

is slowing down,

and the small clocks run wild.

Stanley Kunitz

I am running again through the woods next to

my childhood yard, my small legs dodging fallen

branches, thick brambles, maybe even poison ivy,

as I gallop through some summer’s sticky heat.

I am running like our small beagle Berry,

named for wild blackberries, who dashed

headlong into a tree upon our return from

a treeless, sun-blind shore—and lived.

I am running wild although it’s darker now

here in this new time zone where the hours

grow hallow beneath the mirror of the moon—

a moon inching further from the Earth each year.

A great clock ticks on the horizon, but small clocks

pulse within me, giddy with urgency, as I dodge

trees and leap streams, trusting my feet to find

firm ground beneath the flickering stars.

Penny Harter is published widely in journals and anthologies. Recent books include The Resonance Around Us (2013); the prizewinning One Bowl (e-chapbook, 2012); Recycling Starlight (2010); and The Night Marsh (2008). She was a featured reader at the 2010 Dodge Poetry Festival, and has won three fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts; the Mary Carolyn Davies Award from the PSA; and a January, 2011, fellowship from Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She works for the NJSCA as a visiting poet in the schools.

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