A Family Ghost, My Father's Shadow

by Jo Christian


Iron cemetery gates sharpen their teeth

            against the sun, the polished sycamore edges

etch the hillside—my grandmother’s gravestone


is a pale palm—my father’s shadow

            tinging the grass, clean cut as marble.

I watch the shadow spiral, upward, outward—


a cold, grabbing thing, cleaving for

something solid, something more than a name.  


back to University & College Poetry Prizes