Go into All the World

after “Witness” by Denise Levertov

by Andrea Penner

A landscape view across the American Southwest showing brush in the foreground and a mesa in the distance. The sun is just visible over the mesa.

She watches from her kitchen window
whenever the mesas hide themselves
behind a gray summer mantle,
its hem caught on the desert

floor. As the light returns, she turns away,
stirs a pot of fragrant stew—maybe mutton,
maybe beef, some salt—relieved
to hide inside herself, for now.

God knows she believes the gospel,
the choice to serve, bear witness,
but sometimes when the baby sleeps,
when her husband preaches in the stone church,

she feels watched by the holy ones—
the sacred many who live in clouds,
in mountains. The ones who ask her

why she came.

Andrea Penner
Andrea M. Penner is an indie author whose second book, Rabbit Sun, Lotus Moon, was a finalist for the 2017 Arizona/New Mexico book award. Her poems grow from both careful craft and mindful reflection. Her work has appeared in literary journals and anthologies. She is currently writing a memoir.


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