Slow Banks by Ian McClelland


You and I lived nowhere by the river
among the frogs, mushrooms, and flowers
that flourished beside the sidewalks
of our neighborhood.

In the light of moon
against the southern trees
blowing in wind from the west,

Your phone and my face glowed
as we talked about what we wanted
to be and what we had seen
and wanted to see from the world.

We counted stars beyond the poplar trees
that shaded light on cool autumn evenings
where I held you in my arms and you told me
how you wished you were everywhere but here
and here forever. Your head pressed
on my shoulder for so long. We didn’t exist.


At dawn
with the snow falling
on dead earth and potholes
We met and traded heat until we had our fill.

Snow like stars covered your black coat
and unforgiving
snowbanks and angels.

Your sweater hung tight around you
in the frigid cafe – the only way to be alone
from the warm, desolate places we called home.
We talked about nothing
for days in the same seats
with hands braided
like branches.


We saw no moonlight
in the brisk spring air
when new places and new faces
called you away from the nowhere
among tadpoles, sprouts, and mushroom blooms.

We met next to our river;
Fish jumped and swam north
in the water
that will never stop flowing
against black backdrops
and blooming poplar trees
hiding us from the light of the moon
and the wind blowing west.


Ian is a former staff member for Imaginary Gardens at Pellissippi State Community College and is working towards a degree in Psychology at the University of Tennessee. Having spent most of his life in Indiana, he loves discovering new places around the Appalachian region. He loves reading books about religions and other cultures, as well as watching whatever is on Netflix’s trending tab.


**Featured Image Source:  npr WUOT via

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