Momentary

By A. E. Stallings b. 1968
I never glimpse her but she goes
Who had been basking in the sun,
Her links of chain mail one by one
Aglint with pewter, bronze and rose.

I never see her lying coiled
Atop the garden step, or under
A dark leaf, unless I blunder
And by some motion she is foiled.

Too late I notice as she passes
Zither of chromatic scale—
I only ever see her tail
Quicksilver into tall grasses.

I know her only by her flowing,
By her glamour disappearing
Into shadow as I’m nearing—
I only recognize her going.

Source: Poetry (February 2012).

MORE FROM THIS ISSUE

This poem originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

February 2012
 A. E. Stallings

Biography

A. E. (Alicia) Stallings studied classics in Athens, Georgia and has lived since 1999 in Athens, Greece. She has published three books of poetry, Archaic Smile (1999), which won the Richard Wilbur Award; Hapax (2000); and Olives (2012). Her new verse translation of Lucretius (in rhyming fourteeners!), The Nature of Things, is published by Penguin Classics. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Animals, Trees & Flowers

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

Report a problem with this poem


Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.