John Muro, “Birch Mountain”

John Muro, a resident of Connecticut and a lover of all things chocolate, published his first volume of poems, In the Lilac Hour, with Antrim House in 2020. He’s a two-time 2021 Pushcart Prize nominee whose poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Barnstorm, Clementine Unbound, Grey Sparrow, and Sky Island. Pastoral Suite, John’s second volume of poems, will be published this spring.

orange line

Birch Mountain

Descending headlong from empty boughs
like a lanky child, ill at ease;
sunlight awkwardly alights

upon blue combs of grass roused by a slow
surge of wind; clutched fingers released
to cushion the blow midflight.

Propped upon bruised shins and knees,
the astonished body abruptly rights
itself, expands to luster and takes in the field below—

hobbled orchards and stubble where a few crows
gather to assess the new balance of things;
a landscape’s nudged into brittle brightness.

Flock and forsaken farm are now clearly exposed—
shoe-button-black scatter and the keepers of night.


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