Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 16 . . .


     by Jenn Blair

Standing at Appomattox peering at a
piece of hardtack under glass. I don’t know
how long to pause before moving to more
coats and rifles, what response would be
most respectful. So I try to picture the soldier
who saved it, carefully wrapping up his meal
for posterity in a piece of worn red cloth.
Or perhaps he just forgot it, there in his
haversack and months after he got home
he found the food, a stowaway there at
the bottom. I can almost hear his wife,
wondering out loud why he wasted it
and him ruefully smiling, then telling
her to have a bite. I imagine the field
where the wheat that composed the
floury notes still stands, full and golden
by a river. If rumor holds, this very square
may be left over from the Mexican war.
If only I could bypass the barrier, if only
I could hold this wafer up to the light
using one of its pinpoint holes
to peer through to the other side.

Jenn Blair is from Yakima, WA. She has published work in Copper Nickel, The Tusculum Review, and Innisfree Poetry Journal among others. Her chapbook of poetry, All Things are Ordered, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.

© 2010 Jenn Blair