Nan Fry



Deep in the woods, the old man
lowers himself to springy moss
beside a stream. Its rushing water
washes the day’s noise out of him.

Slowly he stretches his hands,
seeing them as flowers
that close and open. He flexes
and lengthens each limb,
then stands, arms raised,
still as a tree.

A soft snort – he turns and sees
three deer staring at him wide-eyed.
He expects that white flash
of rump and tail as they startle
and flee, but they lower their heads
to graze and occasionally look up
as he becomes Fish, Swan, Bridge.


Nan Fry teaches in the Academic Studies Program at the Corcoran College of Art + Design and is the author of a book of poetry, Relearning the Dark (Washington Writers Publishing House) and a chapbook of translations, Say What I Am Called (Sibyl-Child). Her poems have recently appeared on posters in the transit systems of Washington, DC and Baltimore as part of the Poetry Society of America's Poetry in Motion Program, on a Bethesda Poetry Bench Project at the Bethesda 8 Trolley stop at the corner of Auburn and Norfolk Avenues, and in anthologies such as Cabin Fever (The Word Works, Inc.), Poetry in Motion from Coast to Coast (Norton), and The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (St. Martin's Press).