She scales the jagged cliffs of consonants,
skims the plateaus of vowels,
rappels down the edges of words to the valleys
of the blankness between,
and every line becomes a scatter of echoes:
Shapes become sounds, and sounds form images
that bounce back to her, familiar and
yet wholly Other,
as she maps new territory, this country
in which she is both queen and stranger.
Sara Smith Andress lives in the Florida panhandle with her husband, two daughters, and fifteen chickens. She teaches composition and literature to community college students.