HomeSouthern VoiceAll the Difference

All the Difference

by Alan Kate

This is no longer the road
you think you know.
The air has slowed, the fruit
tree’s dry.
You could try.
the river, but that’s in flood
too deep to wade.

Turn away, take the route
that zig-zags back,
follow the track you made
in the snow and when you’ve
scaled the fence, run the other way.
It could make all the difference.


Alan Kate is the pen name of Ian Kennedy, who has a BA from Oxford University and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, both in English. He has taught at UVA and Bucknell University. He is the vice chair and treasurer of the Academy of American Poets, which inaugurated National Poetry Month in 1996 and remains its principal sponsor.

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A Fried Memory