poem index

About this Poem 

"'Loss' came out of a collaboration with Andy Buck. He carved these three-and-a-half inch figures out of wood and applied milk-paint for their clothes. The figures seemed to me somber and I was to give them a voice and narrative. I named each figure, and each figure spoke to something missing. This is number nine in a series of twenty-three. His name is Thomas."
—Carl Adamshick


Carl Adamshick

It is nice to be without answers
at the end of summer.
Wind lifting leaves from branches.

The moment laid down like something
in childhood and forgotten, until later,
when stumbled upon, we think:
this is where it was lost.

The sadness isn't their sadness.
The sadness is the way

they will never unpack the rucksack
of happiness again.

They'll never surface as divers rising
through leagues of joy, through sun
willowing through the bottom half of waves.

They'll never surface again.
Again and again,

they will never surface.

Copyright © 2013 by Carl Adamshick. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on July 10, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Carl Adamshick

Carl Adamshick

Born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1969 Carl Adamshick grew up primarily in Harvard, Illinois

by this poet

A low, quiet music is playing—
distorted trumpet, torn bass line,
white windows. My palms
are two speakers the size
of pool-hall coasters.	
I lay them on the dark table
for you to repair.

We took your food and in a few days 
you'll see we took your excrement.

We've devised such intricate rules. 	

We've agreed, signed papers. We took the papers.

We took your pain, your dignity. 
We took your language and watched 
as religion fell from you.
I always thought death would be like traveling
in a car, moving through the desert,
the earth a little darker than sky at the horizon,
that your life would settle like the end of a day
and you would think of everyone you ever met,
that you would be the invisible passenger,
quiet in the car, moving through the