and then there are days when I can stride across the house
five times even, springing forward with an armful of laundry
as though I never forgot how, no longer offering the body
instruction in hip tuck or the proper undulation of each foot
(hold wall, heel first, steady now, lift the next). My gratitude
at such moments is not for the walking, that easy
grace. It’s for the shadow, that other gait hovering around
my frame, a faint, wavering outline, staggering dragged
water-edge purling behind. How can one measure time or space?
The miles I saw stretch across this little house unfurled a span
to heave through, now condensed to mere feet. I will see those
miles again, I know, and somehow now: I keep a foot in each world.
Laurie Clements Lambeth is the author of Veil and Burn, selected by Maxine Kumin for the National Poetry Series. Her work has appeared in Crazyhorse, The Paris Review, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. One of her poems was recently selected as the winner of Bellevue Literary Review’s poetry prize.