Allison May Kiphuth, The Beacon, 2016
Watercolor, hand-cut paper, pins and thread in antique box
4.25"h x 4.25"w x 1.75"d


Once you leave the forest, it forgets you.
I wish I had good news.

From the outside looking in:
trees spreading their gossip, green heads
nodding in unison. Keep walking.

Have hope, but no expectations, my mother says. Nonetheless,
I always pull the wrong end of the wishbone.

In other words, I place my heart in the hornet’s nest.
I rest my head on a cloud.
More often than not, solitude’s the answer.

The river can become an answer, too—
the way it invites the wader,
how dipping a toe

becomes standing ankle-deep,
eye-level with shore grass, listening for wind
in the darkening sky.

Instead, the trill of a warbler. Like her,
I’m more easily heard than seen. Like a voice

through the water, the things we had forgotten about
return. I wish I may I wish
I might. The river talks to me all night.


Jennifer Moore