August 2018

The Last Mile

          by Martha Carlson Bradley


Not just south, but down

the boulder traveled, not just with


but through the melting glacier,


pollen, sand, the grist of smaller rocks

also adrift and sinking—


to land where, eons later,

ferns have learned to cluster


every spring, persistent—

and wilt back down come fall.


Barbed wire, rusted, skirts

the hulk of stone; the road


diverts around it,

like the tracks of deer—


while the boulder, half buried yet,


is flying—its shadow veering

at the speed of Earth.


Martha Carlson-Bradley has published several collections of poetry, including Begin with Trouble, which was a 2017 title in the Hobblebush Press Granite State Poetry Series; Sea Called Fruitfulness; and Season We Can't Resist. She also published three chapbooks with Adastra Press. Her poems have appeared in the LA Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Valparaiso Review, Zone 3, and other magazines. Her awards include the Baron Fellowship from the American Antiquarian Society, an Artist Fellowship from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, a St. Botolph grant-in-aid, and the Gretchen Warren Award. She earned a PhD in English from the UNC–Chapel Hill and an MFA from Warren Wilson College. A grant writer at Strawbery Banke Museum, she is currently writing a novel.