by Rita Rouvalis Chapman


Each dawn the flock splits           across the emerging day
Not unlike shards of cloud losing              the muscle of night

Not unlike the bright ginkgo leaves           dropped in the gutter
By the sun        for the afternoon
She gathers the yellow back into herself come evening

A rose window breaks               the light across
The altar like a              flower in prayer

Not all of these can return                      all the time
Not all of us hear           the calling back

Some remain outside                  this wide sleeve of sunset.

Rita Rouvalis Chapman Rita’s poetry has appeared most recently in Nine Mile, Laurel Review, and Figure 1, with work upcoming in I70 Review. She teaches high school English outside St. Louis, Missouri.