weekend-readsGirl on a Hill

Leslie Shipman

A girl in a foreign city
walks on a hill.

Is it important to describe the hill?

A plane appears and casts a shadow on her path,
then drops the bomb that kills her.

Moments before, she picked up a stone,
tossed it up and caught it,

felt its weight which was almost nothing—
a pebble, really, a small red stone,

then she let it drop and walked on.

Now that I’ve told you this story,
is this the right list of important things?

        the girl and her stone
        the plane and its bomb,

        the stone hitting the dirt,
        the girl’s steps in the dirt,

        the bomb hitting the dirt, the girl,
        the red stone, the shadow on her path,

        the city that holds them, the countryside
        rolling away from the edge of town

until it reaches the shore of a shimmering sea,
you know the one, you’ve dreamt it—

why would you deny it now?

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