Joseph Hutchison

Black Willow

Alte Weiden by Albert Konig

Last night his heart
arched and gaped
like a fish flexing in
the rough grassy bed
of a creel. He kept

picturing them, bodies
fused, pleasing each other
as he lay suffering. Soon
he climbed out of bed,
stepped to the open window

and pressed his face
against the dusty screen
to breathe. He could hear
a river-rush of wind
shouldering clouds out

over the plains—but here,
dead stillness. Leaves,
in the grove along the ditch
nearby, hung as if stunned.
Suddenly, just beyond

the grove, the clouds
parted, and a bright
crescent moon appeared,
caught up in the crazy black
network of branches.


About the writer:
Joseph Hutchison, Colorado Poet Laureate (2014-2019), has published 19 poetry collections, including The World As Is: New & Selected Poems, 1972-2015; Eyes of the Cuervo/Ojos del Crow; Marked Men; Bed of Coals (Colorado Poetry Award winner); and the Colorado Governor’s Award volume, Shadow-Light. A new collection, Under Sleep’s New Moon, is forthcoming from NYQ Books. His poems, fiction, and essays have appeared in many anthologies and over 100 journals, including Agni Review, Cutthroat, JuxtaProse Literary Magazine, Kentucky Review, Pedestal Magazine, Poetry (Chicago), and Poetry Salzburg Review. He directs the Professional Creative Writing program at the University of Denver’s University College.

Image: Alte Weiden by Albert König (1881-1944). Woodcut. No size specified. No date specified. Public domain.