Hilary Sallick, poet & teacher


It was a small velvet box.

It was a dry brown pod.

It was something tightly sealed, 

rattling its riches

or silent with fullness.

I carried it home

to the shelf, forgotten—

until it snapped open,

until it breathed out,

trailing nothing,

completely unattached,

the seeds of it.

The Meeting

There are things we could talk about,

large, interesting, amazing things,

questions that concern both of us.

Facing each other, we smile,

we listen, we speak,


There are things we could talk about,

protected, treasured,

within both of us.

We could turn in that direction.

We could try to put into words

the flame, the desire, the fear.

Maybe we will.

Perhaps that is why

we meet here,  hopeful,  polite,

facing each other,

though I sit alone

in a kind of wretchedness

I can’t tell you about.

There are things we could talk about,

questions could rise glowing

between us.

What stops us?

Why do I sit here, alone,

silent and trying

to speak to you?

“The Meeting” first appeared in Constellations.

After Painting

Mist, scratches of yellow in the green,

branches of mauve, white

undersides of leaves all along

the south-bound highway—     

for we painted this morning.   

    The island rose before us,    

spruce and red pine. Bright squirts of paint

beside two cups of coffee. Our brushes

with orange handles swished color quickly 

over empty space.

Some poems online:

Swimming, The Bookends Review

Raptor, Exposition Review

City Garden, Hawk and Whippoorwill

Perennial, Inflectionist Review #7, p. 71

Nine Walking Dreams, Modern Poetry Quarterly Review

Two poems, Muddy River Poetry Review

What I Didn’t Do, Muddy River Poetry Review

Two Poems, The Poetry Porch 2020