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Poem of the Week: “Perch” by Jennifer Campbell

By Jennifer Campbell


The body knows elevation,

feels the upward thrust of the engine

as you climb to the highest point

in this city of parks and industry,

water and land. Perch yourself

on Walden & Harlem at dusk.

You won’t see any gulls, but their sound

will be with you, their memory

of white-capped waters will lift.

From this vantage point, every building

is a lake house, sun-bleached paint,

colors of a winter sunset

chipping under window frames.

Note the horizon is a cliff,

dropping you off in endless magic freefall

to what could be – oh city of opportunity,

city of dust, pyramid erected

long before settlers landed here,

we gather at this place

for a moment, so we may go onward. Contributor’s Note: JENNIFER CAMPBELL will join poet Gene Grabiner in the next Raiders of Niagara Series reading at 7 p.m. Thursday at Talking Leaves Books, 3158 Main St. She is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, “Driving Straight Through” (Foothills Publishing, 2008) and “Supposed to Love” (Saddle Road Press, 2013). A co-editor of Earth’s Daughters magazine and the curator of the Just Buffalo Literary Café Series at the Center for Inquiry, she is an English professor at Erie Community College, where she received the 2010 Chancellor’s Award for Scholarship and Creative Activities.