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Jennifer Bullis

Jennifer Bullis

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Jennifer Bullis grew up in Reno, Nevada, and attended college and graduate school in California. While finishing a PhD in English at UC Davis, she and her husband, seeking a green place to live, moved to western Washington. She taught writing and literature at Whatcom Community College for fourteen years before sneaking away to write, hike, and chase after their son.

Her poems appear in journals and anthologies including Iron Horse Literary Review, Natural Bridge, Conversations Across Borders, The Comstock Review, Floating Bridge Review/Pontoon, Cascadia Review, Clover, and Umbrella . She won The Pitch contest at Poetry Northwest and received Honorable Mention in the Tupelo Press Poetry Project. She served on the Board of the Whatcom Poetry Series and blogs about “Poetry at the Intersection of Mythology and Hiking” at

She lives in Bellingham with her family, which, by her current reckoning, includes a horse, two cats, and too many feathered, furry, and leafy creatures to count.

Impossible Lessons

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Poem from Impossible Lessons

Crossing the Methow at the Tawlks-Foster Suspension Bridge

After William Stafford’s “Where We Are”

Daylight loves everything coming up this river
like the fog, like the slow reveal
of a poet’s seeing as he stands

on this swaying bridge suspended
over the swift channel of his imagining.
Walking this footpath so many years

behind him, I stand atop the bridge’s curve
and look downriver, the sun setting behind me
loving the wet sky violet.

An oxbow moon floats on the horizon
as gold cottonwoods shuffle their starlings
from one branch to another

and finally breathe them out over the river’s
mottled glow. Every bird’s flight
renews my eyes’ slow marveling,

like the rain locating boulders under its feet,
friendly, stepping and tapping
and greeting them one at a time.