Excerpt from Outside Grenoble by Jennifer Barber


The following poem was the 2019 Tiferet Writing Contest Winner for Poetry and will appear in our Fall/Winter 2019 issue. Subscribe today to receive it and one more issue with a one-year subscription.

What I remember most
is a confusion of bells,
the sheep like woolen slipknots
over the tufted grass.

The din of dogs
warned us off
as if we’d come to abscond
with a lamb or two in our arms.

Hundreds of feet below,
the city lay in a haze
of cars, buses, and heat.

Where the trail
went under the trees,
we heard the cuckoos’ cries,
contrapuntal, invisible.

Let me pour it all once more
into the cup of my ear:
the bells, the cuckoos’ calls
back and forth overhead.

JENNIFER BARBER’S books are Works on Paper (Word Works, Tenth Gate Prize, published in 2016), Given Away (Kore Press, 2012), and Rigging the Wind (Kore Press, 2003). The founding editor of Salamander, she was the 2017 Isabella Gardner Fellow at the MacDowell Colony. Recent poems appear in Upstreet and December.

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