just passing through

walking this old timber
among the grandsons of great oaks and hickory
deep in creek and river bottoms
or high on glacier formed bluffs
I am struck by the fact
that at least ten generations before me strode
doing what I’m doing now
wondering at the quiet of these listening trees,
even in high wind and rolling storm,
a silence that rivals the holiest of places
silence broken only by a falling limb,
rustling of the grey brown leaves,
singular call of a jay or disturbed crow
I am aware also of the unforgiving harshness present
fallen-in farm houses and rotting fence posts,
abandoned wells with now undrinkable water
stark metaphors of long dead men’s dreams.
my ancestors found hope here
migrating from famine, oppression, and war
their graves, generations of them, are witness to that
arranged in neat rows in manicured or abandoned cemeteries
before them, a more ancient mississippian people,
hunted, farmed, gathered, and carved out lives
their graves still evident, if one knows where to look
and I, like all, am just passing through
in the end these bluffs, creek bottoms, and fields
will all survive me, survive us all
in that there is an obvious end
that no one can argue


– Dan Jacoby

Dan Jacoby is a graduate of St. Louis University, Chicago State University, and Governors State University. He has published poetry in Anchor and Plume(Kindred), Arkansas Review, Belle Reve Literary Journal, Bombay Gin, Burningword Literary Review, Canary, The Fourth River, Wilderness House Literary Review, Steel Toe Review, The American Journal of Poetry, and Red Fez to name a few. He is a former educator, steel worker, and army spook.. He is a member of the Carlinville Writers Guild . Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He is currently looking for a publisher for a collection of poetry.