The weather came in just as I left town, a farewell show
over the hood of the car. There has to be a way
to put the beauty inside, to carry it along: snow flurries
freckling my belly, cedar fence post ribs
expanding with each breath. But you want to know
what to do with the dead cow we saw in the winter pasture,
where to hide the old mill pouring her bitter steam—
All those landmarks that hold a body under, pin it down,
belong in narrow little books with loose spines
where folded ferns fall out moth-riddled,
worm-worn pages pinpricked through with light.
I couldn’t be the crutch of cloudless days against
your dog-eared sadnesses. But maybe I was wrong
to think I understood despair’s whittling hand any better
than you did, now walking among all that beauty I left behind.
Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2014
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.