Jeff Hoffman


Stumble through the woods to find the beauty

of the glen at last: the mist just so;

the ghost children, distanced, laughing; the tree

trunk initialed, yours forever. Below,

the bridge, its kilted troll to bid you, Welcome

back, ya bastard ye, you haven’t changed

a bit. Then through the heather until you’re home.

Soon, ill beside it all, you rearrange

statue and stone, trinket for trivet. Then out

they come, the townsmen their torches, the troll to chase

you off. The mist bakes away. Your doubt

strips bare the glen, a world erased.

Stop then — vow — to marvel at the brink:

our worlds unreached, yet pouring, endless, over us—



Jeff HoffmanJeff Hoffman’s first book of poems, Journal of American Foreign Policy, won the New Issues Poetry Prize. A former Stegner fellow at Stanford, his poems have appeared in The New Republic, Ploughshares, PN Review (UK), and elsewhere. He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he works as a screenwriter.





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