Issue 6 – Youtt

Harry Youtt

Ode to Line Breaks

Each line, a single chiseled flagstone
hewn from life and fashioned into shape,
smoothed a little, then polished,
set in soft earth for us to walk upon,

so that looking down, and step by step
at our own pace, we take the time to ponder —
opacity, occasional opalescence,
bits of translucence,
flecks of mica that honor the sun,
and the lines and shapes
and surfaces of each set stone.

Treading the path, not knowing at first
the place where it might lead,
only that the poet has walked
the same before us —
searching for a way through.

Trusting the path the stones make
will lead to something, or from something,
some kind of destination,
or at least — escape.

Had the lines not been laid
in the pattern of stones the poet made,
had stones been mortared together in prose,
we might have ended with only a wall,

words crowding words
we wouldn’t think to chisel apart
or ponder in pieces,
and the wall might block what could have been
the pathway out — or anywhere.