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Charleen McClure photo: Marie Thomas

Riders on the Storm

by 

Charleen McClure

I was drawn, I suppose,

by touch, which had no color

but pulse

             and shadow beneath each stroke

             the river pulled through my hand.

 

my gaze drifted

toward the hills, loosely gathered

like strangers—lilac, cerulean, violet;

looking pass their shoulders, I watch them

thinking of birds on a shore,

waiting for a thought in the wind

to break them apart

to lift them up all at once.

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Deanna Sirlin, Riders on the Storm, 2020, Acrylic on canvas, 84 x 60 inches

Charleen McClure is a Fulbright scholar. She graduated from Agnes Scott College with a bachelor's in English literature. She earned her MFA in creative writing-poetry at NYU. She has received fellowships from VONA, Callaloo creative writing workshop, Cave Canem, and the Conversation Lit Festival. In 2020, she was a recipient of the Rona Jaffe Foundation writer’s award. Her work has been published in Kinfolks Quarterly, The Poetry Project, and The Offing.