Walking the river trail,
I see one boat, one fisherman
on the river, his back
against low sun.
I think of the Dakota,
the early ones in their river
solitude, knowing the currents
and when to head to shore.
Darkness narrows the river’s
silver path. I’m heading
home myself, up the steep hill,
a little breathless. A chill
from the woods touches my arm.
how we come to evening.


While the coffee brews,
I stare out the window
at the snow graying,
winter’s end.

A flight of sparrows crosses
the yard and I wonder
how they all agree.

They live here, thanks
to the lilac bushes and the neighbor’s
fir tree, good for hiding
from the hawk.

Smoke billows from a chimney
chugging into polar air
above a mountain peak of roof.
Smoke and sparrows on the lam.

Published in the May 5, 2017 issue: View Contents

Norita Dittberner-Jax has published four collections of poetry, most recently, Stopping For Breath from Nodin Press. Crossing The Water, her fifth collection, will be published by Nodin in June, 2017. Norita has won numerous awards and fellowships, among them several nominations for the Pushcart Prize. One of the poetry editors for Red Bird Chapbooks, Norita lives with her husband in Lilydale, Minnesota on the banks of the Mississippi River.

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