11 June 2007 | Vol. 7, No. 2


Across the road, the grass bends waist-high

like women wading against their tump-lines, bales

of sleepy children…

The horizon is simple, a sheet of light,

detention, and the grass labors in tenderness.

The land folds under like dough.

An image comes out of itself.

This match-head's

halo of flame

is another, sudden wall. Outside the barn's

now lit follicle, you are face down

as if you had fallen without instruction.

The militia passes in haste toward the city.

I am holding your ankle, a hillside

bald as the children

who have gone without trampling. So this

is being out in the world. The safety

of imminence. But doubt is also natural.

The grainy blur of staring too close for too long.

Your forehead under my hand. Color

trespasses in the stops and slants…

About the author:

Todd Fredson's poems have appeared in Poetry International, Blackbird, Court Green, Gulf Coast, Pistola, Puerto del Sol, RUNES, Slush Pile, and other journals. He is the director of programming at the McReavy House Museum of Hood Canal in Union, WA. He lives in the Skokomish Valley, with his wife, Sarah Vap, and their two sons.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Todd Fredson at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 7, No. 2, where "Contrition" ran on June 11, 2007. List other work with these same labels: poetry, editors' select.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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