Landmark Inn

Mornings I lounge on the balcony
in my new jeans and good underwear,
below me the river,
                  slow and widening,
green with islands of grass and willows.
Ducks and jays and cowbirds.
                                 It’s July,
when cicadas own the vacation air.
Here in Tennessee I’m almost happy.
Only the pale domestic goose protests,

but what does she know
about the other side of the mountain,
how it’s possible
                   to leave home
and turn away from everything
you call your life, to sit and watch
what wanders into view?

Two mowing machines on the far bank
are slicing the tall grasses birds love
to pick through.
                  Someone from another
balcony throws stale bread, turning
the lawn into a banquet.
A new flock of geese bails out of the sky
with honking, as if to say,
Look at me.
And, for these few minutes—
far, far from anyone I know
                      who is dying—I do.
Susan Meyers’s first poetry collection, Keep and Give Away (University of South
Carolina Press, 2006), won the SC Poetry Book Prize, as well as the SIBA Book
Award for Poetry and the Brockman-Campbell Book Award. Her poetry has