Sunday, April 27, 2014

National Poetry Month: Mark Halliday

"Sternly Departing"
(Mark Halliday)

Nobody seemed to notice me for three days in San Diego
as if I was less significant than a spindly palm tree
yet when my plane took off from the airport
at that moment all over San Diego people  paused
and glanced into some crystal of absence;
the plane's wheels lifted unequivocally from the runway
and San Diego was left with a diminished portion of the possible

and in particular several thousand quite healthy women
in their twenties and thirties (okay and early forties)
felt a sudden shiver and fearfully touched their hair 
as my plane rose sternly into the blue
o the tremendous Unavailable, so gone and so debonair.

"Sternly Departing" by Mark Halliday was published in Poetry, October 2005. His books include Selfwolf (1999) and Jab (2002). He teaches at Ohio University, where "I should show all my drafts to my wife, the poet J. Allyn Rosser, as I know she could save me from some follies, but often I don’t want to face her critique," he told an interviewer in 2009. His most recent collection is Thresherphobe (2013).

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