Looking the Other Way – a poem by Laura Foley

Looking the Other Way
I go out and climb the hill, to see the way grass
accepts the wind’s direction, how it yellows
with the season, goldenrod fading to ashy grey,
to brush my hair with the breeze, to hear
the poplar’s leaves speaking of autumn’s in-between.
But sometimes, instead of gazing toward the woods I’ve climbed,
I turn and look the other way, toward mountains
that lead to other mountains, and then the sea.
I imagine I’m a butterfly, the orange and black one
just now taking flight, lifting to the topmost branch.
I envision a thousand mile journey along the coast,
over the Gulf’s wide, churning waters,
her fragile escape. Then, from what I’ve gleaned
in contemplation of another’s freedom, I’m ready
to descend, to accept the work of home again.

Laura Foley is the author of seven poetry collections. Why I Never Finished My Dissertation received a starred Kirkus Review and was among their top poetry books of 2019. Her collection It’s This is forthcoming from Salmon Press. Laura lives with her wife among the hills of Vermont. 

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