Inescapable Luck

You, reckless hope of a town. 
And my mother’s dinner whistle
and the shirt I stained mulberry
with me bloodied in it
at the bottom of a tree. 

The way fear and justice
cinched together at the knee
could run the three-legged race
and win. 

Just enough streetlamp
to unknow a sidewalk place, 
to lose one’s feet beneath them,
to pass my own father at night
and recognize only his breathing.

This practicum of a day
we wake without worry, 
without wandering away. 

My basic anchor sound, 
garage doors churning down.

ALICIA MOUNTAIN is the author of High Ground Coward (University of Iowa Press, forthcoming spring 2018), which was awarded the 2017 Iowa Poetry Prize. Her poems can be found in Guernica, jubilat, Prairie Schooner, Pleiades, Witness, and elsewhere. She has received a Pushcart Prize nomination, an Idyllwild Arts Fellowship, and a residency at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. A queer poet and PhD candidate at the University of Denver, Mountain earned her MFA at the University of Montana in Missoula.