{An Umbrella Special Feature}

Kim Bridgford

is the director of the West Chester University Poetry Center and the West Chester University Poetry Conference, the largest all-poetry writing conference in the United States.

As editor of Mezzo Cammin, she founded The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project, which will eventually be the largest database of women poets in the world.

She is the author of five books of poetry: Undone (David Robert Books); Instead of Maps (David Robert Books); In the Extreme: Sonnets about World Records (Story Line Press), winner of the Donald Justice Prize; Take-Out: Sonnets about Fortune Cookies (David Robert Books); and Hitchcock’s Coffin: Sonnets about Classic Films (David Robert Books).

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Lazarus From That Stillness

Later, it was difficult for me,
For how do you explain to anyone
The line that stands between mortality
And death? At night, sometimes, as I drank wine,

I’d sit in silence, dreaming myself back
To nothing, and, after a while, I could do it,
Become the cave I lay in, and, with luck,
Sometimes, I could go further, when I knew it

Again. For just a moment I would float
Within the darkness made of birth and death.
When morning came, I’d tremble when I ate,
But then the world came back, and I could breathe.

I knew inside the body was the soul,
That stillness in the middle of it all.