Susan UttingSusan Utting 


The Journal
after Song Dong

The first week was in ink,
broad-nibbed black, each day
a slope to the right, the thin
and thick of copperplate.

The second week was fog
and muffle, a slowing down
of daily round, a 4B graphite
exercise in evening.

Week three was smudgy,
began with charcoal across
sugar paper, then washed
its hands of dark for good.

Week four was scratched
with a pin on wood, each letter
purpled-in with laundry marker,
each day a table-top tattoo.

Then I took up my brush,
dipped and wrote with water
on to stone: letters rippled,
grew to words, to stories.

Years now, stone has held
what I have written, has worn
itself away with listening – water
whispers for me, stone never tells.

First published in The Poetry Review

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