Salamander 2024 Fiction Contest

SUBMIT: May 1 through June 2, 2024 | READING FEE: $15


Invocation to Time/No Time

Beverly Burch
| poetry


A blessing on the endurance of childhood,
each moment a lifespan and a whole hour runs over
the horizon. Blessing on the hard rooms
of old age, a dull curtain drawn against the city,
every day a lengthy pull toward dressing.
Blessings on in-between years when you raise children
in a blur. The minute of the stroller at the back door,
wooden rabbit on wheels. No time for last night’s dishes,
laundry sprouting like spores on summer nights.
A benediction for how soon the house will be too quiet.
For how only once or twice time opens its latch
and you step out, catch stillness, silence of the air.
Mercy and a curse that all time may be synchronous
yet the needle keeps flying through the cloth.

Beverly Burch’s poetry has appeared in New England Review, Willow Springs, Tinderbox and Poetry Northwest. Her second poetry collection, How A Mirage Works, was a finalist for the Audre Lorde Award. Her first, Sweet to Burn, won the Gival Poetry Prize and the Lambda Literary Award. She’s a psychotherapist in Berkeley.