Shepherd Road

By Ashley Anna McHugh
Eventually, I grab the back-door key
from the cup-holder, slip a folded list
into my pocket. Inside, I dig through closets

to find the lincoln logs, the cardinal statue,
the clock shaped like an elephant, a kettle—

but the whole time I half expect to hear her:
the careful shuffle of her slow, flat feet;
her walker's unpredictable clap; her voice

trembling with evangelical vibrato.
Beside the bed, I find a King James Bible,

her careful marginalia penciled in:
Glory! Glory! Amen! I set it down.
I shouldn't want it just because it's hers.

Ashley  Anna McHugh, "Shepherd Road" from Into These Knots. Copyright © 2010 by Ashley  Anna McHugh.  Reprinted by permission of Ivan R. Dee, Publisher.

Source: Into These Knots (Ivan R. Dee, 2010)

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Poet Ashley Anna McHugh

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Living, Growing Old, Life Choices, Sorrow & Grieving, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Religion, Christianity

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Biography

Poet and editor Ashley Anna McHugh earned her BA at Ohio State University and pursued graduate work at Boston University and the University of Arkansas. Formally inflected, McHugh’s poetry uses rhyme and meter to explore themes of family, loss, and history. Her debut collection, Into These Knots (2010), won the New Criterion Poetry Prize.
 
A former editor of the literary journal Linebreak, McHugh has won the Morton Marr Poetry . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Growing Old, Life Choices, Sorrow & Grieving, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Religion, Christianity

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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