stand silent.
Roches moutons from earth science class
before her teacher got pregnant.
teachers were demigods
powerful with myth.

She’s a teacher herself now and in love
with a teacher who travels with her.
Both know how to pack very small
so their luggage will not be lost.
Both are admirers of animals
and stop often as they walk.

This time because they both are writers
it’s Ireland with a tower of poems.
Stiles and walls and fences bend
away from the high dirt road.
And is it? Yes? Surely blackberries
tangle sweetness at the next curve.

And sheep.
Moving slowly now
across green fields from a coloring book
where the sky is nothing but blue.
She has but to wave her hands…
and they cross, one by one, two by two.

Katharyn Howd Machan’s most recent publications are A Slow Bottle of Wine (Comstock Writers, Inc., 2020) and What the Piper Promised (AQP, 2018), both winners in national competitions. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines, anthologies, and textbooks. She is a professor in the Writing Department at Ithaca College.