Poem: Nancy Hightower

The Awakening

We met on a mountaintop
when mountaintops were made
for rain and sky and boys
who looped their arms through ours.
They serenaded us with hymns
as we walked down the winding road,
their umbrellas shielding us from
wind, weather, and other evil.

You knew by then
that dragons existed,
that the world was on fire
and would never stop burning,

not for babies or love,
not as the mountain grew
between stomach and liver,
between gasps of pleasure
and prayer and angry wonder
that life could be so short.

What hour is appropriate
to welcome the river’s rush
over your heart, the road
erased by smoke and ash
while your lungs bloom into trees
so lush, there is no place
for the dragon to nest
but in your arms?


Nancy Hightower has had poetry and prose published in Sundog Lit, Spry, Heavy Feather Review, Longleaf ReviewQueen Mob’s Teahouse, and Drunk Monkeys, among others. Her first collection of poetry, The Acolyte, was published in 2015 by Port Yonder Press. In April 2018, she was granted a micro-residency at the Strand Bookstore by The Poetry Society of New York as part of their joint Poet-A-Day Project.

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