This time there is a window, there is also a sea.
Not what you expect, not my usual ocean of evergreen.
Here I lean against regret.
Behind me, everything I want.
Uncertain blue or insistent green, it is life.
Did you know duck-billed grazers survived the Arctic,
their long May shadows by the Colville River, until they could not?
Here the window is far above, fifteen floors at least.
I stand beside water where salt and wound won’t disagree.
Water lifts me, a leaf.
Amy Small-McKinney won The Kithara Book Prize 2016 for her second full-length collection of poems, Walking Toward Cranes, to be published January 2017 by Glass Lyre Press. She is also the author of, Life is Perfect (BookArts Press, 2014). Small-McKinney was twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She was the 2011 Montgomery County Poet Laureate, judged by poet, Chris Bursk. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, for example, The American Poetry Review, The Cortland Review, Tiferet Journal, upstreet, arc—24, The Pedestal Magazine, Blue Fifth Review and the anthology, Veils, Halos, and Shackles: International Poetry on the Abuse and Oppression of Women, Edited by Charles Fishman and Smita Sahay. Small-McKinney has a Masters in Clinical Neuropsychology from Drexel University, but has returned to school for an MFA in Poetry and Translation at Drew University’s low residency program. She facilitates poetry workshops in Philadelphia.