The Fall
Poetry, January 2003
Dr. Catherine Carter

Gold Horizontal Line





One afternoon when he was seven, rocking
on the porch-rail spelling out words about stars,
his hooked-in heel slipped, and he pitched back
into the grass. When he could look, the lawn's
low clover was like something in his book:
a vast reach thick with clusters, sweeps of stars,
he thought, and winged things tending stars,
bearing some bright dust the little way
between the stars’ white tremors. It was only
the usual thing, pain, which told him
he wasn't dead, that these were not
angels (which he knew about from Sundays)
touching stars into shine. Only hurt
whispered to him that this world
was his world, that these were bees
not angels, that the yards all white
with clover were not the fields of heaven.


Dr. Catherine Carter
Director of English Education
421 Coulter Hall
Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC 28723
(828) 227-3931