Ascensions on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Barbara Westwood Diehl

A view through coin-operated
binoculars, a squirming child

hoisted up onto a hip

Always the erasure of clouds
the pale birches blurred

into softening mountains

into an even softer sky

always, later, a sun
or moonrise

Always a river whispering
to streams, to streamlets—

to ascend as

a suspension of rain

Always a migration of hawks
riding a rising tide of air

as if called by

the child
with outstretched arms

with quarters in her fist

Barbara Westwood Diehl is founding and senior editor of The Baltimore Review. Her fiction and poetry have been published in a variety of journals, including Quiddity, Potomac Review (Best of the 50), Measure, Little Patuxent Review, SmokeLong Quarterly, Gargoyle, Superstition Review, NANO Fiction, Per Contra, Thrush Poetry Journal, Atticus Review, The MacGuffin, The Shore, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Raleigh Review, South Florida Poetry Journal, Fractured Lit, and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Also a poem in The TELEPHONE Project.