I see myself through windows,
stained glass in the church at my funeral,
through the photographs, scrapbooked
on an altar. I am my mother,
flipping through the pages of my
fourth grade diary where I first
wrote the word Amen.
Dear Lord, I see myself through the window
of my first bedroom, as the robin
on the maple branch. I never thought
to ask if she was lonely.
God, I was so small then, so in love
with the frayed corner
of my blue striped baby blanket,
in love with the orchards I painted
and wandered when the house was quiet enough.
I see myself through the milky windows
of my black dog’s eyes as he died –
no, as we let him die – on the kitchen floor.
He loved me so much. I know
because his breathing would slow
to match mine when I rested my head
on his ribcage. I’m telling you,
I see myself in frames
of the film someone made about me,
in loving memory of,
on the back of a horse named Rancher,
when my hair was sun and dust,
my palms leather-calloused.
O Father, I can’t stop seeing myself through windows.
I’m so afraid of dying, of being pulled from
the red dirt in which I take root,
of becoming the small white bodies
below the orange tree that blooms
beyond my windowpane.
Nan Macmillan is a student at the University of Virginia, graduating in May 2017. She studies in the undergraduate Area Program in Poetry Writing, and has written under the advisement of esteemed poets and professors Lisa Russ Spaar, Rita Dove, Gregory Orr, and Paul Guest. "Matins" is her first publication. She is from Beverly, Massachusetts but her family now resides in Charlottesville, Virginia. Also a songwriter, she plans to continue writing both poetry and songs in her post-graduate career.