{An Umbrella Special Feature}

W.F. Lantry

received a Licence and Maîtrise from L’Université de Nice, and an M.A. and Ph.D in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston.

In 2010 he won the Lindberg Foundation International Poetry for Peace Prize (in Israel), the Crucible Poetry Prize, the CutBank Patricia Goedicke Prize and the Birmingham-Southern College National Hackney Literary Award in Poetry.

His chapbook, The Language of Birds, is available from Finishing Line Press, and his work has also appeared in Prairie Fire, Asian Cha, James Dickey Review, Gulf Coast and Aesthetica.

He currently works in Washington, D.C. and is a contributing editor of Umbrella. Visit his website.

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All Souls, At Dawn

I stopped along the blue ridge at a home
I knew. The whole house slept. Towards the dawn
while smoking on the terrace I had built
for someone who had passed, I felt a wind
unlike any I'd known. I rushed inside
and crept in darkness up the wooden stairs.

I felt her then, before I heard her voice
and turning, looked behind. She had grown young
again and seemed not threatening: concerned.
My fear surprised her. When she spoke, I heard
a pale imitation of the wind
and stunned, I watched her turn and disappear.

I swore I’d not reveal what she said.
I can say, though, that since that winter dawn
I’ve lost the comfort of my certainty
and have begun to wonder if something
does not remain of us when we lie down
and hear the damp earth falling on planed wood.


[Originally published in Kestrel: A Journal of Literature and Art.]