‘Ghazal for a Blue Ridge Home’ & ‘The House Where the Wind Lives’ by Britton Gildersleeve


Ghazal for a Blue Ridge Home

It is the way mountains smell: conifer & cloud
How mist settles over the horizon’s line of green, conifer & cloud.

Prairies are in my bones, the wide flat blue of open sky
But I am learning this new language, how to speak conifer & cloud.

You can fall in love with a place, even if it is nothing like before
A kind of reincarnation of home, oak & mistletoe to conifer & cloud.

In the distance, the mountain ridge blues to haze, dissolves
Into a softening of trees and coming rain: conifer & cloud.

I wake each morning to this new place, the soft teeth of metal
In this new fragrance – the chilly purity of conifer & cloud.

The House Where the Wind Lives

Has no doors. The windows whisper
to the sagebrush nestled beneath them:
Hold fast, my loves. Hold fast.
Behind the weathered wooden walls
high plains stretch languorously
Their flat bodies supine beneath
the wide pale sky
Mornings, the wind has breakfast
with cloud, whose tendril fingers
reach for sage blossoms
which wind blows across
the sagging table. She smiles.
Cloud shakes his head, and droplets
of rain fall from his white hair.
This is the house where the wind lives
he reminds himself. And smiles back.

Britton Gildersleeve’s poetry has appeared previously in Nimrod, Passager, Spoon River, This Land Press, Futures Trading, Lincoln Underground, Atlas Poetica, and Florida Review, and other journals. She has three chapbooks: two from Pudding House, and one from Kattywompus Press. She blogs at https://teaandbreath.com.

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