Jennifer Sperry Steinorth: “Chunnel Channel”

Chunnel     Channel

When I was a girl         no longer a girl
I flew on a train        
under the sea
The inside is black        ( before the pick axe
Consider ) emeralds       
pecans     blood loosed
from its tight drum        a comely stranger sat
beside me  on the train
        The mind turns
on an ocean      a toy      boat caught
in a faucet
       I was afraid     to descend
afraid of the all        upon a tunnel
        to steal us to the other        side He
smiled He
       buttressed     an elegant English
against my
        rattletrap French     I forgot how
close the dark
        and fast        Oh how easily
one fear       may be replaced     by one
of its kin        then     I was afraid     to ascend

Jennifer Sperry Steinorth is a poet, educator, collaborative artist, and licensed builder. Her poetry has appeared recently in Alaska QuarterlyBeloit Poetry JournalThe Colorado ReviewThe JournaljubilatMichigan Quarterly ReviewMid-American ReviewQuarterly West and elsewhere. A chapbook, Forking the Swift, was published in 2010. In 2017 she was the Writers@Work Poetry Fellow selected by Tarfia Faizullah. She lives in Traverse City, Michigan, and teaches at The Leelanau School and at Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Steinorth’s poem “Commute” appeared in the Winter & Spring 2017 issue of Poetry Northwest.