Purchase Issue 5

Purchase Issue 5


Corrie Williamson

chestnut sabbath
Fincastle, Virginia, 1804

What clamored squall
in startling a tom turkey

back to chestnuts’ shelter
from his worm shucking

in the dawn-wet fields,
ritual of snaring &

snipping from their lives
the little soileaters pulled up

like thread from the earth’s
stormy needlepoint canvas

to keep from drowning.
He squabbles in shade

now, hunts leaf litter
& de-armors the chestnuts

beneath their mother trees,
watch-keepers aged & aging

in their uninterrupted
dominion. Time is its own

form of idle malady, which
stirs, brews, fruits, or

readies its black powder
beyond our knowing. All

things abide here between
summon & pluck.

Corrie Williamson’s “Chestnut Sabbath” can also be read in the print edition of The Arkansas International 5.



Corrie Williamson is the author of Sweet Husk, winner of the 2014 Perugia Press Prize, and The River Where You Forgot My Name, selected for the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry and forthcoming in 2019. Her work has appeared in AGNI, West Branch, Poetry Daily, The Missouri Review, Shenandoah, and elsewhere. She lives in Helena, MT.