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Runner-up from the poetry contest for the summer 2013 Phi Kappa Phi Forum:

Dreaming of Travel

Where I go in winter carves a gray journey, this
meandering from Seattle to London, stepping out
on the crazy loose, possessions stuffed into a valise
or wheelbarrow, no one dogging my path, no cry evoked
by slash of wind through cottonwood or fir,

and if a persistent tapping echoes out, and down,
see where the shagbark hickory sheds its skin
like an insect in molt. Looking skyward,
then note the pileated woodpecker moving from branch
to trunk. For all my motion, I haven’t limped
very far — there’s a thimble of fire that burns

inside me. At night, or with dawn’s opening eye,
colors ranging from cyan dark to lavender, a ghost
comes stumbling past, my doppelganger, my twin,
beret clapped on her head, coatless, blazing a trail of smoke
and flames, fallen embers melting ice.

By Patricia Clark

Patricia Clark is Poet-in-Residence and a Professor in the Department of Writing at Grand Valley State University, her Phi Kappa Phi chapter. Her fourth collection of poetry, Sunday Rising, was published in February by Michigan State University Press. Her earlier works, released by the same publisher, include She Walks into the Sea (2009), My Father on a Bicycle (2005), and North of Wondering (2003), and her poems have been featured on the websites Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. She was the 2005-07 Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids, Mich.; other awards include the Mississippi Review Poetry Prize and the Gwendolyn Brooks Prize. Clark earned degrees from University of Washington (B.A., economics), University of Montana (M.F.A., creative writing/poetry), and University of Houston (Ph.D., English). Email her at clarkp@gvsu.edu.

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi