Completing the Arc

Nancy Hewitt


Dark Sun

By Scrumshus via Wikimedia Commons

There’s a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in.
– Leonard Cohen

A warm front’s arriving, blasts of sun knifing their way through thunderous gunmetal clouds.  Flames emerge from the hesitant fire, lick the edges of the split wood.  Electricity hadn’t come to my grandparents’ farm when my mother left home in the 1940s to work as a maid.  And then tungsten filaments:  Imagine the first time she flicked a switch in the college professor’s house and saw light playing over furniture she’d polished to a high sheen.  Many years later, I remember the slant of light on the empty green bottle of Rolling Rock as it completed its arc from the open Pontiac window to the shoulder of the rural road lined with autumn’s pink poverty grass.  In those days before cup-holders and Breathalyzers, before seatbelts, my father would have steadied the bottles between his legs and ordered my mother to heave the empties out of sight.  That never happened, he said, 30 years later.  In the velvety folds of your mind there are desires that lean back in their comfortable chairs, awaiting illumination.  Then there’s the light you offer up with your words, and how sometimes you turn away first.


Nancy Hewitt’s chapbook Heard was published in 2013 by Finishing Line Press.  Her poetry has appeared or will be appearing in Mid-American Review, Prism Review, Cumberland Poetry Review, Off the Coast and other journals.  Her awards include the Nancy Hargrove Editors’ Prize for Poetry from Jabberwock Review and a Pushcart Prize nomination.  She is a clinical social worker who for over 30 years has maintained a private psychotherapy practice in Salem, MA.  She is the first Poet Laureate of Swampscott, MA, and divides her time between Swampscott and East Randolph, VT.


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