Peggy Shumaker

A Tiny Infinity

His hands in her hair, her hands
in his, morning in the shower
they share. His hands cup
foam, easing suds

away from her ears,
her belly soap-slick
against his. Their eyes
close under water

warm enough to
cover the mirror.
Rinsed, she steps out,
her footprint dark

on the mat.
Finest moment
of the day—
soft swipe

of fresh cotton plush,
sequins he collects
from the intimate arc
of her back.

Eating from the Carver’s Hand

Long before this block of alabaster
arrived in Joe Senungetuk's hands,

he flew over a place he'd never been.
Lightning from below

lit the tops of clouds, grace
arriving as it must—in a flash

that can kill or amaze
or show us our way.

Gray-edged thunderhead
of rock Joe shaped

into an ocean, each swirl full
of plankton, salt,

each crest a held breath
released, spume and foam

luring us back—the depths
our first home.

Author Portrait

Peggy Shumaker's most recent book is Toucan Nest, poems of Costa Rica. Her lyrical memoir is Just Breathe Normally. Professor emerita from University of Alaska Fairbanks, Shumaker teaches in the Rainier Writing Workshop. She is founding editor of Boreal Books, publisher of fine art and literature from Alaska. She edits the Alaska Literary Series at University of Alaska Press. Peggy Shumaker was Alaska State Writer Laureate for 2010-2012.

View the website of Peggy Shumaker