Jeff Hardin

Toward a Place

All these years later I hear our steps
over a wooden bridge, the creek below.

Then, no words between us, two boys—
we take the curve in the road.  Sunrise,

a field we are bound for, power lines
where dove sit holy above the mist.

Only one morning among so many others,
yet always I seem to be there, slowing

toward a place from which to see them
in the moment of their song the moment

right before they flush and disappear.
And always I seem to be turning toward

a place from which my friend will not
return, an early morning walk to hear 

a song, this place I go now, writing words
that aren’t there as soon as I arrive.


Jeff Hardin is the author of Fall Sanctuary, recipient of the Nicholas Roerich Prize, and Notes for a Praise Book, selected by Toi Derricotte for the Jacar Press Book Award. His third collection, Restoring the Narrative, received the 2015 Donald Justice Poetry Award from West Chester University Poetry Center. His fourth collection, Small Revolution, recently appeared. His poems appear in The Hudson Review, The Southern Review, Southwest Review, and Southern Poetry Review. He teaches at Columbia State Community College in Columbia, Tennessee.


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