. . . like a dog between 4 trees . . .
—e-mail from a friend

Toward the end of this summer,
this long labyrinth,
I thought of you in a clearing
green and sunlit, bordered by four
tall trees and the dusky spaces
between them where barely
discernible rhododendron
start the process of shadows.

Light moves on your turning
shoulders and on the four tall trees:
the black walnut, the copper beech,
two sycamores peeling to bonewhite
the sun loves most.

It's not only the trees but more
than your fabled dog's choices;
it's those darknesses between
that like me you are lured to choose.

But you are arrested there—
watching the swallowtails
feed on the aster, then go in
and disappear.

Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press from Without A Philosophy by Elizabeth Morgan. Copyright © 2007 by Elizabeth Morgan.