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Contributor Notes

Barbara Hendryson

The Hills Above San Francisco

All my life,
Following Care along the dusty road,
Have I looked back at loveliness and sighed.

—Edna St. Vincent Millay: Journey

In the hills above San Francisco,
there once were farms, and riding stables.
Chickens and small green snakes
rustled each other in the wild grass.
Feral cats, and rabbits too, had homes there.
One summer I mucked out stalls at the
Hilltop Stables so I could ride the
beautiful horses in the evening.
The big black and I wandered the trails
in twilight. That time of day
they needed to ramble, to not be
spurred into speed. That time of day
at the first cool touch of dew,
the scent of eucalyptus was so sweet
I wanted to lie down with it, and stay.

I Wanted to Write a Poem About Your Leaving

I wanted to describe the twins asleep in their cribs.
Our girl in her Barbie-festooned pink room.
The massive table weighted with warm food.
The looming dark sword of your caged anger.
How in that darkness you became irretrievable.
How could we go back to love in our ancient Ford?
What I remember is the back of your buzz-cut head.
The way mulberry blossoms carpeted the front lawn.
The sound of your brown brogues falling on concrete.