Mitchell Untch


Mitchell Untch has been published in The Los Angeles Review, New Millennium Writers Contest, The Monadnock Anthology, Nimrod Intl., The Wisconsin Review, Out of Ours, Aurorean, The Unrorean (Broadsheet), Jabberwock Review, Blood Orange, The Coachella Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, The Hawai’i Review, Confrontation, Kestrel, Quiddity Magazine, Booth, The Fourth River, Sierra Nevada Review, South Dakota Review, South Dakota Review, Solo Novo, upstreet, Lucille Clifton Commemorative (Squaw Valley), Natural Bridge, Prism, U.S. Worksheets 1 40th Anniv. Issue, Southern Humanities, Georgetown Review, ABZ Poems, Off the Coast, Poet Lore, North American Review, Assaracus, Knockout, Bicycle Review, Glassworks, Lake Effect, Owen Wister, Literary Anthology for Pacific West Writers, and Grey Sparrow.

It’s Summer This Dream

Wind circles. Apricots fall.
Noises from the highway drift upward.
Like water from streams that splinter
against rocks, a car horn becomes a splash,
an arrival that moves toward then
away from me, the only thing that opens
the day’s stillness, stirs nests.
Early, I feed the horses, fill troughs,
ice I break with warmer water.
In the afternoon I stalk crows, hunt lizards.
I pitch stones across the surface of pond.
Each one flies further than the last,
each one, a note that rings.
I count the circles of sunlight.
I run through sheets my grandmother
pins on the clothesline, wrap myself
up like a ghost, turn my face into a mask.
I live inside the laughter I become.
Where my voice takes shape,
my arms fly open, wide as barn doors.
Let’s say it is fearlessness.
Let’s say it is the completeness of love.
Let’s say it is being for all the right reasons,
here, where my grandmother sits
in her lawn chair, quiet as silk, here,
where the brim of her hat scoops upward,
a veil of shade I sail past as she watches me
squirt the wind with the garden hose,
shake the water from my hair,
my laughter as loose as I will ever know it,
all these years gone, like the ringing
on the pond, where a breeze shuffles
through me, thick with love.
It’s summer this dream.
And she is the breeze. She is the pond.

My belief is that the core element of unconditional love rings through the human body our entire lives, and that it can be called up at any time to re-experience no matter how long ago that love was realized. Yes, it’s true the poem is about my grandmother, but my hope is that when someone reads the poem, it will reconnect them to a moment in their lives when they may have felt, hopefully, the love and joy my poem expresses. All love is circular in my view, and nothing is ever forgotten.