Angela Just

Sweet Spot with Leaves and Grass

I go to the garden to work the unfinished poem,
taking the wrong notebook, the empty one.
How like a first date this is, casting about
for something to hang a conversation on.
I ask the page, So, are you travelling this summer?
And the page answers blankly, No.
Perhaps you’d like to move out of the shade,
I offer. No, the page says again, I burn so easily.
By now it shows the darkening stubble
of scratchy time. We agree to end it there.
I turn to a fresh, new page:


the shadows of leaves on it, the empty space
between the leaves in no way negative.

Over the page, light cursive of sun and wind
without commitment of ink. I am free

to watch a rabbit grooming her speckled face
with a long back limb. She lays down

her whole soft stretch of fur and skin and
I swear closes her eyes, closes her ears to all

but her own true heart, doing the best a rabbit
can do in the grass of an open afternoon.


Angela Just

Possibly “over-served” in Catholicism, I balance that abundance with small continuous learnings from many traditions. I appreciate the luxury of sitting alone and with others, but mostly find my way through poetry, outdoor time, music, art and cooking (slow oatmeal is best!). Always, nature offers me a spiritual home: clouds shift, shadows and light move, waves roll in and out, people graze each other on the bus and in the streets. I try to breathe into these reminders of impermanence.

Angela Just writes from her 10th floor apartment on Chicago’s lakefront. Her work has appeared in many journals including Free Lunch, Make Magazine, After Hours, Sow’s Ear, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Seeding the Snow, and Bird’s Thumb. Her chapbook Everything I Own is available from Porkbelly Press.

More on Angela Just’s work can be found on our Links page