Sitting in a Rocking Chair in My Courtyard on a Sunday Afternoon

by Dylan Macdonald

There is a snail next to
the banana trees, who sees
only toes

like moons of dried apricot.
He climbs the shadow of the palm
of my hand

leaving behind a trail
of buckwheat honey.
He carries in his emerald shell

a gust of wind
that tries to pull him up
into the dimming sky

where he would see the young earth
spinning, slowly,
as if it were in no hurry at all.

Dylan Macdonald is a recent graduate of the University of San Diego. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Columbia Journal Online, Red Paint Hill Poetry Journal, Rust + Moth – A Journal of Poetry and the Arts, Scarlett Leaf Review, and Star 82 Review.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Sitting in a Rocking Chair in My Courtyard on a Sunday Afternoon”?

I am not sure how fascinating or surprising the origin of this poem will be to anyone, but I think its success grew out of the repetition of my writing routine. I write every day, and I prefer writing outside. On the day I wrote “Sitting in a Rocking Chair in My Courtyard on a Sunday Afternoon” I was sitting in a park near the apartment I was renting in San Diego. There was a lot of traffic in the street next to the park, and people seemed to be in a hurry. I remember noticing a snail sliding, slowly, across the sidewalk toward the grass. The image stuck with me, and I wrote and rewrote the poem several times, trying to expand outward from that image.


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Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions are now OPEN. The reading period for standard submissions closes June 15, 2021. Topical Thursdays’ submissions are open year-round. Submit here.


08/30 • Andrew Warnke
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