Between any here or there
is a road or pathway,
a line, a distance,
a fragment of broken space.
Some surfaces have an existence
in themselves and lead out
to celestial spheres, the parallels
and perpendiculars of time, unknowns.
Is there any center that can hold,
a perfect x/y axis, a constant north,
a dimension that emanates and radiates?
Is there an essential place?
Some roads are easy to travel:
prairie grass waves in soft breezes,
the air shines, and soft shadows
dance in the day’s motion.
Trees grow and are cut down,
gravity defied and then realized.
Between beginnings and the end,
our place is a question, a muted wish.
Acceleration against inertial space
leads to this or that party, a smile
and wave. Our own darker moments,
searching for less grievous avenues.
Is there any place, celestial or grounded,
that avoids the closed doors,
cold caves, the hard wood nailed together
spanning all directions?
Carla Ann McGill grew up in Southern California and lives there in Rancho Cucamonga with her husband. She has an MA and a PhD from the University of California, Riverside, and a BA from California State University, San Bernardino. She has work published in A Clean Well-Lighted Place, Shark Reef, Crack the Spine, Westview, Common Ground Review, Caveat Lector, and Inland Empire Magazine, and work forthcoming in Vending Machine Press. As a member of the Poetry Society of the Huntington Library from 1991–2012, her poems have appeared in three of the group’s chapbooks: Garden Lyrics, Huntington Lyrics, and California Lyrics. She writes poetry, fiction, and is working on a novel and stage play.