En route to Central Pennsylvania

he greets the two ghost sycamores

towering above a stand of pines

on the road through the Newark Valley.

Bark lit from within,

luminous no matter the season,

he never fails to notice

and pay them homage

whether naked in winter glare

or clothed in leaves of jade.


Even at 55 miles an hour,

whatever the weather or time of day,

he knows just when to look to his left

pointing as we go,

as if they might be waiting for us

and he wouldn’t want to disappoint.

I catch sight of them

in a blur over my shoulder,

limbs entwined like a bride and groom

poised to dance at their wedding.


-Gloria Heffernan 


Gloria Heffernan is the author of the upcoming poetry collection, What the Gratitude List Said to the Bucket List, (New York Quarterly Books, 2019). She has also written two chapbooks: Hail to the Symptom (forthcoming from Moonstone Press) and Some of Our Parts, (Finishing Line Press, 2018). Her work has appeared in over fifty journals including Anchor, Chautauqua, Stone Canoe, Columbia Review, Louisville Review, and The Healing Muse. She is an adjunct instructor at Le Moyne College and teaches poetry at The Downtown Writers Center in Syracuse, NY.