December 26, 2012

Hedge Row by Al Ortolani

Leaves swirl like a dancer,
disembodied arms, fingers, toes,
ropes of hair whipping wind.
They toss themselves into an

orange choreography, blown
into an improvisational
dance. Slowly one leaf
frees itself and drifts

along the curve of her elbow,
rotating like a pale hand
upon an invisible wrist.
She forms and reforms

down the hedge row:
her shoulder, her slender neck,
her promising lips, the glint
of winter in her eyes.

Al Ortolani is a public school teacher. His poetry and reviews have appeared in journals such as New Letters, The Midwest Quarterly, The English Journal and the New York Quarterly. He has three books of poetry, The Last Hippie of Camp 50 and Finding the Edge, published by Woodley Press at Washburn University and Wren's House, published by Coal City Press in Lawrence, Kansas. He is an editor for The Little Balkans Review and works closely with the Kansas City Writer's Place.

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