I live with my two dogs on the edge of the university research forest, where I walk everyday and think and pray. I have taught at Oregon State University since 1986 and have been a Catholic deacon since 1987. I have written a number of books, including two books of poetry. My second book of poems, THE NEXT THING ALWAYS BELONGS, was published in 2011 by Airlie Press.
We're trying to get into Sue's computer
but we can't because she's dead.
We don't know the password.
Just last week I was sitting across from her
at the Thai restaurant and I could have asked her
and she would have told me.
How little would have been required to cross
that threshold. Just a breath.
A movement of the tongue. A sound.
Walking in the forest today, down the road,
I found a long smooth tail feather from a hawk,
gray and black and dirty white.
I brought it home with me.
I like how hard and stiff the quill is, like bone,
and yet how light, too, how hollow.
Holding it, you think of flight—
though you also think of Dante
and Shakespeare and Keats,
dipping it in ink and starting to write.
-first published in The Cortland Review
©2015 Chris Anderson