The poem “Hymn for Two Choirs” appears in the poetry collection “Mistaking the Sea for Green Fields” by Ashley Capps, published by The University of Akron Press as part of their 2005 Akron Poetry Prize. Visit uakron.edu/uapress to order a copy of Capps’ book and to browse other Akron Series in Poetry books.
Hymn for Two Choirs
Best apple I ever had was three o’clock
in the morning, somewhere outside
San Francisco, beach camping, stars holding
the sky together like sutures. I was thinking
how I was going to get old and ask myself
why did I only live for one thing;
at the same time I didn’t know how to change.
I thought I felt like my neighbor’s huge dog—
every day stuffed into a small man’s green T-shirt
and chained to a stake in a yard of incongruous
white tulips. Here and there a red bird, a train.
Way down the beach other tents glowed orange.
I heard a stranger call my name
and another stranger, laughing, answered.
Ashley Capps was born and raised in North Carolina, and received her MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She has held fellowships from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and the Iowa Arts Council. Mistaking the Sea for Green Fields is her first book.
(All images courtesy of The University of Akron Press)