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  • Route 7 Review

L. Ward Abel—Consider the Dragonfly

—the dragonfly knows his name

refuses to meditate

understands moments as hours

as days as years, seconds. Short.

Eternal. Dragonflies frenzy in august.

Why august no one knows

but them.


A squadron without form or

structure of any kind, a swarm

oddly fractal, portions of many more

make doppelgängers variously placed

in maniacal flightpaths and still avoiding

any possible collisions.


O, the length of the suns that groan

above entire lives, repelling all shadows

adrift left to right across lawns. Like

Macedonians now too far from home

to ever return, dragonflies have reached

their glorious, brief Indus.


L. Ward Abel


L. Ward Abel’s work has appeared in hundreds of journals (Rattle, Versal, The Reader, Worcester Review, Main Street Rag, others), and he is the author of four full collections and ten chapbooks of poetry, including his latest collection, Green Shoulders: New and Selected Poems 2003–2023 (Silver Bow, 2023). Abel resides in rural Georgia.

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