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Sailing to Manti

August 1, 2007 by Melissa Dalton-Bradford

2007 Poetry Contest 2nd Place Winner

(to my husband, on the 22nd anniversary of our
December marriage in the Manti temple)

We sail the vein:
Perforated, gray southbound highway
Down
From dawn’s perch
We approach,
Splaying this languid stage of sagebrush
In two
Vast contours, undulating,
Old rocky chronology seeping left to right,
Largo to fermata . . .
Bending beyond peripheral vision
Curling,
wrapping,
enfolding
Heaven,
Her mist-mottled crepe curtain
Whispers,
Torn,
As ragged hem reveals enough:
Mountains, their triple depth in
Slate then ash then dust
Hang an ageless opaque canvas.

Drawn, we aim.

Trusting, we offer
Hands stretched through a veil.

We sail.

(2013- reprint) Melissa Dalton-Bradford is a writer and independent scholar. She holds a BA in German and an MA in Comparative Literature, both from Brigham Young University, speaks fluent German, French, and Norwegian and is conversant in Mandarin, has taught language, humanities and writing on the university level, and has published award-winning poetry and prose. As a young adult, she studied in Vienna, Austria, and later returned there to serve a full-time mission for the LDS church. She has performed professionally as a soprano soloist and actress in the US, central Europe, Scandinavia and South East Asia. She and her husband, Randall, have lived in Hong Kong and Vienna, and have raised their four children in Oslo, Paris, Munich, Singapore and Geneva, where she has finished Global Mom:A Memoir (Familius) to be released June 2013, and is awaiting the publication of her substantial anthology, Grief and Grace: Collected Voices on Loss and Living Onward. Above all, Melissa’s greatest joys are found in her Savior, her husband, and her four beautiful children, who are the light of her life.

(2007) Life has followed a colorful trajectory for Melissa who, with her husband and four children, has lived in Vienna, Hong Kong, an island in Norway, and now in the heart of Paris. This journey (wifehood, motherhood, nomadhood) has provided experiences that she has consistently tried to translate into the written word. Like half of Paris, she has written a book. Like the other half of Paris, she walks her dog. Unlike anyone else in Paris, she actually scoops the poop.


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