Friday, 2 November 2018


Where two closed gates meet

by Mary Wescott Riser


at the end
of the road
beyond the Cedar Grove Baptist Church
the world is the color of Virginia November:
clay, oak leaves, early dusk, gold earrings.

You touch my fingers as if for the first time
lean back into the evening air
sending your breath to the stars
behind you the moon is a cradle of light, rocking,
and we can see a road
unbarred, ahead.

Her nest is right there!
Only your fine eyes
would see it so close beside the car window
those cardinals hopping, vibrant red feather edges,
snapping up red berries,
living a whole life right there
in that scrubby bush.

How many times have we been here before
and why is it always new?


* * * * *

Mary Wescott Riser worked in Virginia independent schools for 30 years, most recently as Head of School at James River Day School, a K-8 day co-ed day school in Lynchburg, Virginia, where she served as Head for ten years. Mary received her B.A. in English and Philosophy from Georgetown University and her M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Oregon.  She writes the education blog “What’s Best For the Children?” www.maryriser.org. Mary and her husband, George, live in Covesville, Virginia and have two adult children.