Fall 2010, Volume 9

Poetry by Timothy Kercher

On Turning 38

On a day when villagers are rebuilding
walls stone by stone, my wife and I follow
in our Niva, three shepherds running
through flocks of sheep and goats
to clear the road to Kazbegi.
We drive past four enormous granite heads
looking like they just sprouted from the earth.
I remember photographing
one of these bearded stones two years ago,
but I swear either it or the field has moved
in the time I’ve been moving between
and among countries, and no longer
sure of what home is.
Even at thirty-eight
there are times I feel the head
on my shoulders has just sprouted
and is made of stone, and this body below
is an earth I don't understand.
If I took a picture, it would look something like
a shepherd running through the stone wall
of my head, my thoughts a flock of sheep
and a couple of goats being led
in the direction of an unmoving
Mt. Kazbegi, the stone
I hope to follow.


BIO: Originally from Colorado, Timothy Kercher is currently working as a high school English teacher in the Republic of Georgia. Attending Vermont College's 2008 Summer Residency in Slovenia inspired his present project of translating and editing an anthology of contemporary Georgian poetry. A merit scholarship recipient at Vermont College of Fine Arts, he completed his M.F.A. in Poetry and Creative Writing in January 2010.

He served on a translation panel at the 2009 Summer Residency and will serve on a panel at the 2010 AWP Conference to discuss studying writing and translating overseas. Previous experiences abroad include emergency relief work in Bosnia, the Peace Corps in Mongolia, and ESL instruction in Oaxaca, Mexico.

His work is forthcoming in Atlanta Review, California Quarterly (CQ), Concho River Review, ellipsis.literature and art, Sierra Nevada College Review, Soundings East, and Whiskey Island Magazine.