Anne Myles

Double Suspension, Adirondacks

An old champion greyhound runs with his daughter
in the ruins of Fort Crown Point. Two women watch them

hearts lifted above their chests in common wonder.
Sun glitters on the steep embankments, on Champlain.

Twenty-five years ago I drove north on the New York Thruway,
heart pounding, to tell another woman I loved women too.

Light over everything that weekend, the world leaping with promise,
Alix Dobkin blasting from the car as we headed for Lake Placid.

I studied how she and her lover walked, dressed, laughed.
Beautiful otherness, only hours from where I’d lived.

They showed me John Brown’s farmhouse, high and plain,
birds twittering over the grass and graves of those willing

to take resistance as far as it could go. Later, I would be the lover
in the old camp on the hillside running to the shore

where once I saw the lake monster’s back roll through the water.
Where one day she would snap and scream and sever me,

and I would drive south numb and blinded, then move to Iowa,
rounded fields like a woman’s hip, a different spaciousness.

And now I am back, realizing how I have kept these trees,
these mountains holding their breath under the mist,

these starved farms and ramshackle houses, cabins and canoes,
this smell of pine and wood and wool. These bark eaters.

The younger greyhound sniffs into the ruined rooms
of the wars that made the country my grandparents would come to.

Now we are at war again, invisibly, inside this very phone
I raise to take a picture of the dogs for posting, mine and hers,

two introverted women who know each other online mostly.
The old fort is a bowl of green inside its earthworks;

the sky presses down into it, full of hunger and release,
the same sky a soldier gazed on once as the last thing.

A graduate of Bryn Mawr and the University of Chicago, Anne Myles is associate professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa. She began writing poetry again within the past year after having lost her voice for decades. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in a number of publications including Ghost City Review, Ink & Nebula, Thimble Literary Magazine, and Crosswinds Poetry Journal.