Vickie Cimprich


Davenport Gap Canticle
            for John

Turning over in last night's breeze
in Covington, ficus tree leaves, 
a curtain panel, car engine, 
and I.

I turned over in my sleep
back to where you lay one night
during our courtship
on the chicken wire bunk
at a shelter off the Appalachian Trail.

A deer outside snorted.
Grass stretched and snapped its way
into the deer.  Night
had erased all the chain link
between us and night;
night had hidden all the fabric
and each of the faces
between where you lay breathing

and I.



Going to bed 
at night in Lee County

you're never for sure
if the whippoorwill you're hearing
is in your mind

or one ridge over.


Vickie Cimprich is a Northern Kentuckian who has also lived in the Kentucky mountains. Her poetry collection, Pretty Mother’s Home – A Shakeress Daybook (Broadstone Books, 2007) was researched at the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill with the support of two grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Her work also includes A Quilted Life with Hazel Durbin (Contrary Bear Track Press, 2002) and "Free and Freed Shakers: Believers and Affiliates of African Descent at the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill” in The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society. Her poetry appears in The Journal of Kentucky Studies, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Plainsongs, The Merton Journal, Dappled Things and the anthologies Bigger Than They Appear: Anthology of Very Short Poems and Poetry As Prayer: Appalachian Women Speak.

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