Corrie Williamson

Completion of the Jackson Ferry Shot Tower

Wythe County, Virginia: 1807


Freefall perfects the form. A fire
roars at the tower’s height, turns

lead molten, moon-faced. It slips
through copper sieve, each drop

pulled into sphere by descent
through a limestone column, walls

thicker than a woman’s arm
is long. It drops through shadow

above the riverside, bank and cliff
extending the dive, through the hill

& red dirt tunnel below, to land
steaming in the buried kettle. Admire

it now, the polished shine, for it
must journey down again, plummeting

through the breath & blood –
navigate the flesh to seek the skull’s

brittle casket, end the fragile hour,
& drag back to earth its native ore.

Corrie Williamson is the author of Sweet Husk, winner of the 2014 Perugia Press Prize. Recent work appears in Missouri Review, Triquarterly, and Colorado Review. She lives and teaches in Helena, Montana.