Brief Immensity

By Jeanine Stevens

In late May, we don’t expect

such sweet moisture, insistent droplets

streaking the skylight.

On the freshly tilled hillock,

new bedding plants drench in green rain.

We are grateful for this respite

before summer heat brings

its blooming immensity, the towering

hollyhocks and heirloom zinnias.

By July, insistent delta breezes

bring relief; we open windows, crisp white

sheets tucked so tight you can bounce

a coin on the surface.

We want to be the first man

and woman who stood and scanned

the next berm, the lunar sky.

Staying up late, we gaze at the mystical

reconnaissance much as the lone rabbit rises

in a fern meadow and pauses,

nose to the horizon, wet,

vegetative eyes glossed at the kind

of light that halts and waits for other things

to begin, something beyond,

before returning to her burrow,

hibernation never far away,

immense distance here and now,

animal peace.


Jeanine Stevens studied poetry at U.C. Davis, and has an M.A. in Anthropology. Winner of the MacGuffin Poet Hunt and one of two finalists for the William Stafford Prize. Author of Sailing on Milkweed, her latest chapbook is “Needle in the Sea,” from Tiger’s Eye Press. Poems have appeared in Poet LoreEvansville ReviewPearlNorth Dakota ReviewPerfume RiverAlehouse and Quercus Review.

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