Marilyn Kallet is the author of 15 books, including Packing Light: New and Selected Poems, Black Widow Press. She directs the creative writing program at The University of Tennessee, where she is also Professor of English. In addition to translating French poetry, she also teaches poetry workshops for the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Auvillar, France.
I almost made it to the promontory,
stopped short, like Moses,
and me without wisdom, or flock.
Terrified to look over.
I stopped. Unlike Moses I had no mission,
no rod, just my snakelike thoughts.
Afraid to look over.
Cossacks coming, rapists, Nazis, God help me,
I heard all my mother’s warnings. No snake,
just my own fears to stall me.
God help me, no Pharaoh, no Dark Lord,
just me in the pretty wilderness,
backcountry Virginia. Without wisdom or flock,
I almost made it to the top.