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George Witte’s poem, “The Way Back” is in the Winter 2016 issue of The Antioch Review.


by George Witte

Not pebbles   bread   abandoned children’s shoes
scat trail of fearful ingenuity
but contour lines   familiar sloping hills
crushed mailbox where we know to turn   don’t tell
light falling as it fell across the lake
in postcard photographs   our neighbor seemed
grandfatherly   side door so dark and low
outsiders wouldn’t dare investigate
we scavenged garbage   basements   backyard sheds
for private implements   with crows convened
on autumn roads to pluck remains and scream
no telling where we ended up or who
pursued   the glazed and crenellated house
the oven’s rancid breath   don’t tell how close
we came or what we did to live again
air parting air   we glide enshadowed paths
malingering among regretful things
damp pebbles bright as eyes   crusts soft and warm
our shoes transparent   delicate   they fit
as if we never ran away   unlaced
deranged   splayed open with their tongues pulled out



George Witte photo(1)George Witte is the author of three collections of poems, Does She Have a Name? (NYQ Books, 2014), Deniability (2009), and The Apparitioners (2004), the latter two from Orchises Press.  His poems have been published in numerous journals, and reprinted in the Best American Poets, Vocabula 2, Old Flame, Rabbit Ears, and The Doll Collection anthologies.  He lives with his family in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

© 2016 The Antioch Review