by Molly Engel


by Kathleen Lewis

In the DuPont Forest                                                                                                

Light striped the pliant trail.
The woods exhaled an incense
of moss and mold, newborn and old,
carpet of leaves and custodial trees
muffling the way until
we came to the place
where the water fell,
white and lavish,
to thundering applause.
It was my birthday.


Waxing Poetic

If you can cup the moon in your right hand, it’s waxing.
If you can cup it in your left, it’s waning.

The moon is just past full, my love,
less a sliver on the right,
and I have much to say to you
before the rend of night,
before pronouncing denouement
of something rare and fine,
in deference to indifference
without reason, but with rhyme.

I saw you slipping out-of-doors,
your long stride to the left,
and I have gathered you are filled
with something like regret.
Something kin to insouciance
leavened with disdain,
a silent declaration that
our merger’s on the wane.

If I danced well, I’d join you
in a dress of silver light,
remind you that we still can be
the darlings of the night,
but I am clumsy with my feet
as well as with my art.
Uncup that cold inconstant orb;
exchange it for your heart.

The moon is almost full, my love,
just a shaving off the right.


Invasive Species

A thin stream lies
at the bottom of the hill
in the woods
behind our house. Once
the children and I hiked
down in rainboots,
in case copperheads coiled
in the thick ivy. English ivy,
planted by suburban landscapers
in the 1960s. It escaped the yard.

The stream glittered
with mica flecks and fool’s gold,
bits of broken glass.
Coyote paw prints pocked
the wet sand, and there were
scores of tiny snail shells
strewn along the water line.

We discovered an old beekeeping hive,
possible arrowhead, belt of barbed wire
embedded in a long-standing oak.

Don’t ever come down here
without me or Daddy,

I told the kids,
now that they knew the way.
We never went back. We left
the woods, the hill, the stream
to the clutches of the ivy.


About the photographer: Molly Engel is a Philadelphia native now in Portland, Oregon where she works as a nurse. When not at the hospital, she likes to bake things she can drink coffee with, spend time with her cat Dahlia, explore the outdoors, and climb with friends at a local bouldering gym. She has been taking pictures since she was thirteen, and after an introductory photography class in college she fell in love with the 35mm format. Find her work (all shot on a Pentax K1000) on Instagram @mollyonfilm.