As Through a Sheer Curtain

by Eric Pankey


Heat haze far away

What seems immeasurable vastness
Is but an hour’s walk at most

Opening there to other distances
Perhaps the river meanders

Like a snake scaled in sun glints
Or maybe the forest

Comes down to the slow water’s edge
Conceals it in cool shade

So that trout gather
Beneath a ragged jam

Of leaves sticks and branches
But what one sees

Is faraway
As in a dream

A landscape as through a sheer curtain
Where the indistinct edges of things

Smudge shift and bray

Eric Pankey’s twelfth collection of poems, AUGURY, is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions in 2017. He is the Heritage Chair in Writing at George Mason University, where he teaches in the BFA and MFA programs.