Of What Is Past, or Passing, or to Come

Nancy Flynn

just more
pale, washed sky
where the laundry whips
in the afternoon’s haze
past an outhouse abandoned,
where the chickens run to peck
the fringe of a mountain road
after a rainfall that dripped
the window’s sill-wood as if to rot
my pale heart’s sky, uncaring
for the human grief below
where the crows, black
apostrophes of caw,
swoop then rise
between the yellow of
a sunflower & the violence of more
lilacs strewn

           The title is from the final line in W. B. Yeats’s "Sailing to Byzantium."


Nancy Flynn grew up on the Susquehanna River in northeastern Pennsylvania, spent many years on a downtown creek in Ithaca, New York, and now lives near the mighty Columbia in Portland, Oregon. She attended Oberlin College, Cornell University, and has an M.A. in English/Creative Writing from SUNY at Binghamton. Her writing has received an Oregon Literary Fellowship and the James Jones First Novel Fellowship. Her full-length poetry collection, Every Door Recklessly Ajar (Cayuga Lake Books) appeared in 2015; her long poem, Great Hunger, was published by Anchor & Plume Press in 2016. A complete list of her publications is at www.nancyflynn.com.

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