The Path by Stephen Cramer

So many times you’re no paved road,

not even a trail
worn smooth

by feet, just a smattering of breadcrumbs

& birdseed scattered
by wind & squirrels.

Some mornings it’s hard to say how much

of the sky
is the sky

& how much of it is me looking

at the sky.
Isa says, I take deep

breaths so that the world can have wind.

My borders
may not always match

the borders of the world, but I try to blur

my edges.
& so you lead

me on, you take me for a ride,

you disappear
altogether, & then

you find my feet again, oh path.



Stephen Cramer’s first book of poems, Shiva’s Drum, was selected for the National Poetry Series and published by University of Illinois Press. His second, Tongue & Groove, was also published by University of Illinois. From the Hip and A Little Thyme & A Pinch of Rhyme came out from Wind Ridge Press in 2014 and 2015. Bone Music, his most recent collection, was selected by Kimiko Hahn for the 2015 Louise Bogan Award and published in 2016 by Trio House Press. His work has appeared in journals such as The American Poetry Review, African American Review, The Yale Review, Harvard Review, and Hayden’s Ferry Review. An Assistant Poetry Editor at Green Mountains Review, he teaches writing and literature at the University of Vermont and lives with his wife and daughter in Burlington.