Author’s Note: “We were driving back to Delaware from D.C. along Route 301 one night in November during the Leonid meteor shower. The Eastern Shore contains dark-sky patches along there, so I saw the shooting star. M’sing is a mysterious Lenape figure, somewhat deer and somewhat human, thought to have been a local forest guardian. The poem aims to evoke a disquieting unknowability and our human desire for some bright-lit gate (in this instance, the Delaware City Refinery) to protect us from that, even though it doesn’t, really.”
The earth turns toward darkness. The river a dark lash
outward, slips down toward the vast surrounding ocean.
The sense of down, of something falling. Night falls on
the earth the sky falling down, turning dark. The ground
black, the water unfathomable. Not fathomed.
Its measure cannot be taken. M’sing, guardian
of the forest, recedes now into its fathoms
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa where he will wait.
No way to measure the distance along the path,
whereon each step recedes into darkness. Darkness
rises up, collides with darkness falling. The vast
sky collapses onto the water, the ground dis-
appears. The stars recede into the depths of the
sky, which cannot be fathomed. There was a shooting
star, falling down into some unknown place. You might
not have seen, it slipped so traceless by. On this night
we would be glad to gaze upon that bright-lit gate
across the water, that guards the edge of nothing.
Anne Yarbrough’s recent poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Delmarva Review, Poet Lore, Gargoyle, Philadelphia Stories, and Amethyst Review. Her new collection, Refinery, is forthcoming from The Broadkill River Press. She lives in New Castle, Delaware.
Delmarva Review publishes compelling new poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction from thousands of submissions selected annually from the region, nationally, and beyond. As an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit literary publication, it is supported by individual contributions and a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council.
Editions are available from Amazon.com, other online booksellers, and from regional specialty bookstores. The 14th annual review is forthcoming in November. Website: DelmarvaReview.org.