“My Noon, My Midnight, My Talk, My Song”–Charity Gingerich

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–after Auden’s “Funeral Blues”

A butterfly’s laconic dip and upward swirl
from daylily to daylily is all the breeze we have today,
the felled redbird by the roadside so still, so perfect

in death, like art. So intact. I want to believe
it was an accident:
two beautiful objects colliding

somewhere between a sky, soft as a silk scarf,
and a blue spruce filling the air with its pungency.
There is something like grace in looking

without expectation, without judgment: stillness
upon color, color upon stillness.
Our light, our shadows

leave impressions in the dust: blue water in red canyons.
I have not yet lost she who is my east and west,
my everything. But I have passed moonflowers

spreading secrets at dusk, and kept them until morning.
We are all of us dying of one sorrow or another.

I’ve sung all the hymns as proof.


Charity Gingerich is from Uniontown, Ohio, where she currently teaches literature and creative writing (part-time) at the University of Mount Union. She taught writing at West Virginia University from 2008-2014, where she also obtained her MFA. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Arts & Letters, Quiddity, Redivider, Ruminate, and The Kenyon Review, among other journals. She was a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writer’s Conference this summer (2016). When not writing and teaching, she sings with various choral groups.

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