Written in Arlington

During the month of April 2020, Arlington Poet Laureate Emerita Katherine E. Young is posting poems from the forthcoming anthology Written in Arlington, which showcases the poets and poems of Arlington, Virginia.

Epiphany on the Mount Vernon Trail 
by Susan Miller

She fell for the Mount Vernon Trail
in the slippery quiet of twilight
on an otherwise ordinary day. 
Pavement she had pounded 
probably hundreds, thousands
of times before. Always hurtling 
between Lycra-clad bikers,
  errant scooters, Velcro walkers.
Locked in her head as she raced,
recounting the meeting notes, 
the grocery list, day-care deadlines. 
Never watching the artful rowers 
or occasional osprey circling above.
Never drinking in wispy cattails
and swamp milkweeds along
the river’s banks, Lincoln’s  
majestic marble seemingly
 an arm stretch away. 

That is, until one August day,
at an hour that felt
soothing, not yet sticky.
Before the men in neon vests
revved up jackhammers
by Memorial Bridge, before
headlights clogged the Parkway.

For one brief and astonishing
moment she saw the Monument
inching skyward amid a purple haze,
a freeze frame of awe for an audience
of one. And the world, however
fleeting, felt full of possibilities.  

Susan Miller is an editor/reporter for USA TODAY newspaper and enjoys writing poetry as a hobby. Her poetry has appeared in several publications, including Gemini MagazineCommon Ground ReviewMonths to YearsFrom Under the Bridges of America, and Sandy Paws. She had a short story published in Beach Life. She is a thirty-year resident of Rosslyn.

Written in Arlington / Spoken in Arlington is a print and digital collection of the poets and poems of Arlington, VA, edited by Katherine E. Young and published by Paycock Press (forthcoming, fall 2020). It is supported in part by Arlington County through the Arlington Cultural Affairs division of Arlington Economic Development and the Arlington Commission for the Arts. For more information, visit Arlington Arts.

Image: After the Rain mixed media/collage on canvas by Anya Getter (fragment)


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