The Oval’s first honorable mention in poetry goes to Callie Ann Atkinson for “Lark.” She is a senior in the Creative-Writing program and is graduating this spring with her BA. She received her AA degree from Northwest College, before transferring to UM. Callie grew up on a small farm outside of Belfry, Montana, a place she continues to go back to every chance she gets. She consider the farm one of the strongest influences to her writing as well as writers such as Wendell Berry, Elizabeth Bishop, Richard Hugo, and Paulette Jiles.
The sky is blue in Bierstadt light.
Many shades of sapphire and canary gold blush the ceiling of the world.
You brush leftover autumn leaves from porch steps.
A cardboard box has blown flattened against a fence.
There is the old man with his budgies—you look through each
glass pane—each frames a new
color–you like the brightest—it sings
Its so warm there must be swelling buds on branches.
Temperature drops then rises when the sun breaks the hill.
You wait for the rise to enter day.
Tea still steams in the kitchen beside oatmeal studded in raisins.
Gray winter light still held in apartment windows.
You know it could snow—tulips are resisting thought-ground
is thawing—frost replaced by rich
Tomorrow it will rain—the faucet leaking in tempo.
Western meadowlark is back singing.
He will be wet—he will keep his song dripping from his beak.