for Chris Martin
these sudden days
blowse & hum
thirst & quench
a tide of tensing trees
days tick by
beats in a song
my body grows
fuller each day
I think my life
has always been
for this quiet
to my breast
your skin a texture
wool on cotton
wool on glass
the fibers rise
& I can’t sleep
for being alive
Copyright © 2016 by Mary Austin Speaker. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 12, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.
I am jealous of the sand beneath you around you what you see bright things erased lady sparkling and traveling without luggage liquidity before X you are tattooed on my back music dies down I too grew up in the soft hands of the gods and a little donkey will lead them Tears, tears, and I know just what they mean honeysuckles at night I wrote this poem for you and haven't lost it
My father in the night commanding No
Has work to do. Smoke issues from his lips;
He reads in silence.
The frogs are croaking and the street lamps glow.
And then my mother winds the gramophone,
The Bride of Lammermoor begins to shriek—
Or reads a story
About a prince, a castle, and a dragon.
The moon is glittering above the hill.
I stand before the gateposts of the King—
So runs the story—
Of Thule, at midnight when the mice are still.
And I have been in Thule! It has come true—
The journey and the danger of the world,
All that there is
To bear and to enjoy, endure and do.
Landscapes, seascapes . . . where have I been led?
The names of cities—Paris, Venice, Rome—
Held out their arms.
A feathered god, seductive, went ahead.
Here is my house. Under a red rose tree
A child is swinging; another gravely plays.
They are not surprised
That I am here; they were expecting me.
And yet my father sits and reads in silence,
My mother sheds a tear, the moon is still,
And the dark wind
Is murmuring that nothing ever happens.
Beyond his jurisdiction as I move
Do I not prove him wrong? And yet, it's true
They will not change
There, on the stage of terror and of love.
The actors in that playhouse always sit
In fixed positions—father, mother, child
With painted eyes.
How sad it is to be a little puppet!
Their heads are wooden. And you once pretended
To understand them! Shake them as you will,
They cannot speak.
Do what you will, the comedy is ended.
Father, why did you work? Why did you weep,
Mother? Was the story so important?
"Listen!" the wind
Said to the children, and they fell asleep.
"My Father in the Night Commanding No" from The Owner of the House: New Collected Poems 1940-2001. Copyright © 1963, 2001 by Louis Simpson. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of BOA Editions, Ltd., www.boaeditions.org.
Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star’s stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun’s birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother’s, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life, also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.
“Remember.” Copyright © 1983 by Joy Harjo from She Had Some Horses by Joy Harjo. Used by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Traveling over your body I found
The failing olive and the cajoling flute,
Where I knelt down, as if in prayer,
And sucked a moist pit
From the marl
Of the earth in a sacred cove.
You gave yourself to the god who comes,
The liberator of the loud shout,
While I fell into a trance,
Blood on my lips,
And stumbled into a temple on top
Of a hill at the bottom of the sky.
A well runs out of thirst
the way time runs out of a week,
the way a country runs out of its alphabet
or a tree runs out of its height.
The way a brown pelican
runs out of anchovy-glitter at darkfall.
A strange collusion,
the way a year runs out of its days
but turns into another,
the way a cotton towel’s compact
with pot and plate seems to run out of dryness
but in a few minutes finds more.
A person comes into the kitchen
to dry the hands, the face,
to stand on the lip of a question.
Around the face, the hands,
behind the shoulders,
yeasts, mountains, mosses multiply answers.
There are questions that never run out of questions,
answers that don’t exhaust answer.
Take this question the person stands asking:
a gate rusting open.
Yes stands on its left, no on its right,
two big planets of unpainted silence.
From The Beauty by Jane Hirshfield. Copyright © 2015 by Jane Hirshfield. Published by arrangement with Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of The Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
There are never any suicides in the quarter among people one knows No successful suicides. A Chinese boy kills himself and is dead. (they continue to place his mail in the letter rack at the Dome) A Norwegian boy kills himself and is dead. (no one knows where the other Norwegian boy has gone) They find a model dead alone in bed and very dead. (it made almost unbearable trouble for the concierge) Sweet oil, the white of eggs, mustard and water, soap suds and stomach pumps rescue the people one knows. Every afternoon the people one knows can be found at the café.
This poem is in the public domain.
My father in this lonely room of prayer
listens at the window
in the little house of his own dreams.
He has come a long way just to listen,
over seas and sorrow, through the narrow gate
of his deliverance.
And he dwells here now,
beyond the valley and the shadow, too,
in silence mustered day by dawn.
It has come to this sweet isolation
in the eye of God, the earliest of mornings
in his chambered skull, this frost of thought.
From New and Collected Poems: 1975-2015 by Jay Parini (Beacon Press, 2016). Reprinted with permission from Beacon Press.
The truth is that I fall in love
so easily because
a dozen times some days.
I've lived whole lives,
grown old, and died
in the arms of other women
in no more time
than it takes the 2-train
to get from City Hall to Brooklyn,
which brings me back
to you: the only one
I fall in love with
at least once every day—
there are no other
lovely women in the world,
but because each time,
dying in their arms,
I call your name.
From Boy (University of Georgia Press, 2008). Copyright © 2008 by Patrick Phillips. Used with permission of University Georgia Press.
A cornerstone. Marble pilings. Curbstones and brick.
I saw rooftops. The sun after a rain shower.
Liz, there are children in clumsy jackets. Cobblestones
and the sun now in a curbside pool.
I will call in an hour where you are sleeping. I’ve been walking
for 7 hrs on yr name day.
Dead, I am calling you now.
There are colonnades. Yellow wrappers in the square.
Just what you’d suspect: a market with flowers and matrons,
Beauty walks this world. It ages everything.
I am far and I am an animal and I am just another I-am poem,
a we-see poem, a they-love poem.
The green. All the different windows.
There is so much stone here. And grass. So beautiful each
translucent electric blade.
And the noise. Cheers folding into traffic. These things.
Things that have been already said many times:
leaf, zipper, sparrow, lintel, scarf, window shade.
From Some Values of Landscape and Weather © 2003 by Peter Gizzi. Published by Wesleyan University Press and used with permission.
The slow-grained slide to embed the blade of the key is a sheathing, a gliding on graphite, pushing inside to find the ribs of the lock. Sunk home, the true key slots to its matrix; geared, tight-fitting, they turn together, shooting the spring-lock, throwing the bolt. Dactyls, iambics-- the clinch of words--the hidden couplings in the cased machine. A chime of sound on sound: the way the sung note snibs on meaning and holds. The lines engage and marry now, their bells are keeping time; the church doors close and open underground.
From Slow Air by Robin Robertson. Copyright © 2003 by Robin Robertson. Reprinted by permission of Harcourt Trade Publishers. All rights reserved.
Still sleepwalking through her life,
I wrap her up
and we go through the snow that fell all night
and all through this Christmas morning:
her trainers barely denting the whitened lawn, her
two strides for every stride of mine.
Leaving her home
to the warmth of the house
I step back out, and see where my footprints turn
and walk through hers,
the other way—following the trail
of rabbit and deer into the unreachable silences of snow.
I can bring nothing of this back intact.
My face is smoke, my body water,
my tracks are made of snow.
The next morning is a dripping thaw, and winter
is gone from the grass—except for a line
of white marks going nowhere:
the stamped ellipses of impacted snow;
everything gone, leaving just this, this ghost-tread,
these wafer-thin footsteps of glass.
Used with permission by Harcourt, Copyright 2006.
Last summer, two discrete young snakes left their skin on my small porch, two mornings in a row. Being post-modern now, I pretended as if I did not see them, nor understand what I knew to be circling inside me. Instead, every hour I told my son to stop with his incessant back-chat. I peeled a banana. And cursed God—His arrogance, His gall—to still expect our devotion after creating love. And mosquitoes. I showed my son the papery dead skins so he could know, too, what it feels like when something shows up at your door—twice—telling you what you already know.
Copyright © 2015 by Robin Coste Lewis. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 31, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.
They fly up in front of you so suddenly, tossed, like gravel, by the handful, kicked like snow or dead leaves into life. Or if it's spring they break back and forth like schools of fish silver at the surface, like the swifts I saw in the hundreds over the red tile roofs of Assisi— they made shadows, they changed sunlight, and at evening, before vespers, waved back to the blackbird nuns. My life list is one bird at a time long, what Roethke calls looking. The eye, particular for color, remembers when a treeful would go gray with applause, in the middle of nowhere, in a one-oak field. I clapped my hands just for the company. As one lonely morning, green under glass, a redwing flew straight at me, its shoulders slick with rain that hadn't fallen yet. In the birdbook there, where the names are, it's always May, and the thing so fixed we can see it—Cerulean, Blackpoll, Pine. The time one got into the schoolroom we didn't know what it was, but it sang, it sailed along the ceiling on all sides, and blew back out, wild, still lost, before any of us, stunned, could shout it down. And in a hallway once, a bird went mad, window by locked window, the hollow echo length of a building. I picked it up closed inside my hand. I picked it up and tried to let it go. They fly up so quickly in front of you, without names, in the slurred shapes of wings. Scatter as if shot from twelve-gauge guns. Or they fly from room to room, from memory past the future, having already gathered in great numbers on the ground.
From Orphan Hours by Stanley Plumley. Copyright © 2012 by Stanley Plumley. Reprinted with permission of W. W. Norton & Co.
"And these, small, unobserved . . . " —Janet Lewis The lizard, an exemplar of the small, Spreads fine, adhesive digits to perform Vertical push-ups on a sunny wall; Bees grapple spikes of lavender, or swarm The dill's gold umbels and low clumps of thyme. Bored with its trellis, a resourceful rose Has found a nearby cedar tree to climb And to festoon with floral furbelows. Though the great, heat-stunned sunflower looks half-dead The way it, shepherd's crook-like, hangs its head, The herbs maintain their modest self-command: Their fragrances and colors warmly mix While, quarrying between the pathway’s bricks, Ants build minute volcanoes out of sand.
"Herb Garden" from Toward the Winter Solstice (Swallow Press/Ohio University Press, 2006, www.ohioswallow.com).
The fist clenched round my heart loosens a little, and I gasp brightness; but it tightens again. When have I ever not loved the pain of love? But this has moved past love to mania. This has the strong clench of the madman, this is gripping the ledge of unreason, before plunging howling into the abyss. Hold hard then, heart. This way at least you live.
"The Fist" from Collected Poems: 1948-1984 by Derek Walcott. Copyright © 1986 by Derek Walcott. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.
Tall blades of tufted grasses, keep on flowing. Towhees like good ideas, keep on flowing. Pooled water, black in shadow, green in sunshine, With wild olives bending down to drink, Those figures coming daily to the bridge To look at their two shadows on your surface, Keep them returning, keep them coming back.
Copyright © 2010 by Mark Jarman. Used by permission of the author.
Against the stone breakwater, Only an ominous lapping, While the wind whines overhead, Coming down from the mountain, Whistling between the arbors, the winding terraces; A thin whine of wires, a rattling and flapping of leaves, And the small street-lamp swinging and slamming against the lamp pole. Where have the people gone? There is one light on the mountain.
Along the sea-wall, a steady sloshing of the swell, The waves not yet high, but even, Coming closer and closer upon each other; A fine fume of rain driving in from the sea, Riddling the sand, like a wide spray of buckshot, The wind from the sea and the wind from the mountain contending, Flicking the foam from the whitecaps straight upward into the darkness. A time to go home!— And a child's dirty shift billows upward out of an alley, A cat runs from the wind as we do, Between the whitening trees, up Santa Lucia, Where the heavy door unlocks, And our breath comes more easy,— Then a crack of thunder, and the black rain runs over us, over The flat-roofed houses, coming down in gusts, beating The walls, the slatted windows, driving The last watcher indoors, moving the cardplayers closer To their cards, their anisette.
We creep to our bed, and its straw mattress. We wait; we listen. The storm lulls off, then redoubles, Bending the trees half-way down to the ground, Shaking loose the last wizened oranges in the orchard, Flattening the limber carnations. A spider eases himself down from a swaying light-bulb, Running over the coverlet, down under the iron bedstead. The bulb goes on and off, weakly. Water roars into the cistern. We lie closer on the gritty pillow, Breathing heavily, hoping— For the great last leap of the wave over the breakwater, The flat boom on the beach of the towering sea-swell, The sudden shudder as the jutting sea-cliff collapses, And the hurricane drives the dead straw into the living pine-tree.
From The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke by Theodore Roethke, published by Anchor Books. © 1975 by Theodore Roethke. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;
Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.
And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.
So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me
Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.
“Scaffolding” from Opened Ground: Selected Poems 1966–1996 by Seamus Heaney. Copyright © 1998 by Seamus Heaney.
The back, the yoke, the yardage. Lapped seams, The nearly invisible stitches along the collar Turned in a sweatshop by Koreans or Malaysians Gossiping over tea and noodles on their break Or talking money or politics while one fitted This armpiece with its overseam to the band Of cuff I button at my wrist. The presser, the cutter, The wringer, the mangle. The needle, the union, The treadle, the bobbin. The code. The infamous blaze At the Triangle Factory in nineteen-eleven. One hundred and forty-six died in the flames On the ninth floor, no hydrants, no fire escapes— The witness in a building across the street Who watched how a young man helped a girl to step Up to the windowsill, then held her out Away from the masonry wall and let her drop. And then another. As if he were helping them up To enter a streetcar, and not eternity. A third before he dropped her put her arms Around his neck and kissed him. Then he held Her into space, and dropped her. Almost at once He stepped to the sill himself, his jacket flared And fluttered up from his shirt as he came down, Air filling up the legs of his gray trousers-- Like Hart Crane's Bedlamite, "shrill shirt ballooning." Wonderful how the pattern matches perfectly Across the placket and over the twin bar-tacked Corners of both pockets, like a strict rhyme Or a major chord. Prints, plaids, checks, Houndstooth, Tattersall, Madras. The clan tartans Invented by mill-owners inspired by the hoax of Ossian, To control their savage Scottish workers, tamed By a fabricated heraldry: MacGregor, Bailey, MacMartin. The kilt, devised for workers To wear among the dusty clattering looms. Weavers, carders, spinners. The loader, The docker, the navvy. The planter, the picker, the sorter Sweating at her machine in a litter of cotton As slaves in calico headrags sweated in fields: George Herbert, your descendant is a Black Lady in South Carolina, her name is Irma And she inspected my shirt. Its color and fit And feel and its clean smell have satisfied Both her and me. We have culled its cost and quality Down to the buttons of simulated bone, The buttonholes, the sizing, the facing, the characters Printed in black on neckband and tail. The shape, The label, the labor, the color, the shade. The shirt.
From The Want Bone, published by The Ecco Press. Copyright © 1990 by Robert Pinsky. Reprinted by permission of The Ecco Press. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
When I had no roof I made Audacity my roof. When I had No supper my eyes dined. When I had no eyes I listened. When I had no ears I thought. When I had no thought I waited. When I had no father I made Care my father. When I had No mother I embraced order. When I had no friend I made Quiet my friend. When I had no Enemy I opposed my body. When I had no temple I made My voice my temple. I have No priest, my tongue is my choir. When I have no means fortune Is my means. When I have Nothing, death will be my fortune. Need is my tactic, detachment Is my strategy. When I had No lover I courted my sleep.
Copyright © 2011 by Robert Pinsky. Reprinted from Selected Poems with the permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
I love the hour before takeoff,
that stretch of no time, no home
but the gray vinyl seats linked like
unfolding paper dolls. Soon we shall
be summoned to the gate, soon enough
there’ll be the clumsy procedure of row numbers
and perforated stubs—but for now
I can look at these ragtag nuclear families
with their cooing and bickering
or the heeled bachelorette trying
to ignore a baby’s wail and the baby’s
exhausted mother waiting to be called up early
while the athlete, one monstrous hand
asleep on his duffel bag, listens,
perched like a seal trained for the plunge.
Even the lone executive
who has wandered this far into summer
with his lasered itinerary, briefcase
knocking his knees—even he
has worked for the pleasure of bearing
no more than a scrap of himself
into this hall. He’ll dine out, she’ll sleep late,
they’ll let the sun burn them happy all morning
—a little hope, a little whimsy
before the loudspeaker blurts
and we leap up to become
Flight 828, now boarding at Gate 17.
Reprinted from On the Wing, published by the University of Iowa Press.
What things are steadfast? Not the birds. Not the bride and groom who hurry in their brevity to reach one another. The stars do not blow away as we do. The heavenly things ignite and freeze. But not as my hair falls before you. Fragile and momentary, we continue. Fearing madness in all things huge and their requiring. Managing as thin light on water. Managing only greetings and farewells. We love a little, as the mice huddle, as the goat leans against my hand. As the lovers quickening, riding time. Making safety in the moment. This touching home goes far. This fishing in the air.
From All of It Singing. Copyright © 2008 by Linda Gregg. Used with permission of Graywolf Press.
Irene loves a man who is afraid of sex-- she's attended to everything, said it was okay, held me until I slept. She says, Why don't you just not think about it? But I want to know every sensation, nothing untouched, though I pull my hand away once she's found it I can't be around a woman too long, too much. I say, I was mistreated. She says, A cup of tea? I say, I can't start a thing and then describe the kind of thing I'd start. We talk about ballrooms, long sleeves and sashes, say someday we should go somewhere though we can't think of anywhere and then I say abruptly, I've never loved hard enough to be loved back. I say it as if I've had enough of the whole goddamn world and will never be satisfied. I'm looking at the wall. She's looking out the window because she needs to be somewhere. Later, I leave a note: Sorry for the difficulties. Meaning: how come you don't leave? I've never told this story. Even at the moment of dying, I would say it was someone else's.
Copyright © 2001 by Jason Shinder. Reprinted from Among Women with the permission of Graywolf Press, Saint Paul, Minnesota. All rights reserved.
these days I speak of myself in the past tense
writing about yesterday knowing tomorrow
is no more than mist crawling toward violet mountains
I think of days when this weather meant you
were not so far away the light changing
so fast I believe I can see you turning a corner
the rain comes in smelling of pine and moss
a kind of brazen intrusion on the careful seeds of spring
I pay more attention to details these days
saving the most trivial until I sort them for trash
or recycle a luxury I’ve come to know only recently
you have never been too far from my thoughts
despite the newborn birds and their erratic songs
the way they tilt their heads as if drowsing for the sun
the way they repeat their singular songs
over and over as if wishing for a different outcome
Copyright © 2015 by Colleen J. McElroy. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 29, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.
The little red jewel in the bottom of your wineglass
is so lovely I cannot rinse it out,
so I go into the cool and grassy air to smoke.
Which is your warmly lit house
past which no soldiers march to take the country back?
When you reached across the table to touch my hand
is not attainable. I cannot recapture it.
And no gunners lean on their artillery at the city’s edge,
looking our direction,
having shot the sky full of bright holes.
The light bleeds from them
and it always will.
Long ago, they captured our city
and now they are our neighbors,
going about their business like they were
one of us.
Soon, like you, they will be asleep,
having washed the dishes and turned out the kitchen lights.
When I inhale, smoke occupies me.
When I exhale—
By morning the wine in the bottom of your glass
will have clotted.
I’m sorry I called it a jewel.
It is not the soldiers who have shot me full of holes.
It is not light that pours out.
Love did this.
I was filled with wine.
Now I am drained of it.
Copyright © 2016 by Kevin Prufer. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 29, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.
The old cat was dying in the bushes. Its breaths came slow, slow, and still it looked out over the sweetness of the back lawn, the swaying of tall grass in the hot wind, the way sunlight warmed the garbage can's sparkling lid. It closed its hot eyes, then struggled them open again. + In unison, the dogs explained themselves to the passing freight train. + I don't know where it's gone, her husband said without looking up from his paper while she stood on the back porch shaking the food bowl, calling one of its names. + All this the dying old cat observed from beneath the bushes, its head sideways in the grass, its fur wet where the dog had caught it in its teeth. + And now there's another train, and the dogs are explaining themselves again. + The food makes that sparkling sound in the metal bowl and the cat tries to lift its body from the grass but it's feeling hollowed out, empty and strange as though it's floating just above the tips of grass, as if its paws barely touch the blades' rich points. + Sometimes, the dogs explain themselves to each other, or to passing cars, but mostly they address the trains. We are powerful dogs, they say, but we are also good, while the children on bikes, while the joggers, while the vast, mysterious trains pass them by. + The cat is still drifting above the grass tips, and the sun is so bright the yard sparkles, and wouldn't it be nice to rest there on the garbage can's hot lid, there by the potted plant, there on the car's hood? But it wants the food glittering in the metal bowl, the food that, also, drifts above the grass tips. + And then the cat floats down the tracks, the train's long call a whistling in its head. + And the dogs explain themselves to it, we are good dogs, good dogs, as the cat grows impossibly far away, we are good dogs, as the cat is almost a memory, is barely a taste in the mouth of one of the chorus.
Copyright © 2011 by Kevin Prufer. "A Story About Dying" first appeared in The Indiana Review.
At eight years old my brother born with Down syndrome liked to shuffle down the sidewalk holding our mother's hand mirror in which he'd watch what was happening behind him. What did he see so long ago? Me on a butterfly-handlebarred bike, which he would never learn to ride, about to run him down, shouting, "Look out, slow poke! Make way, bird brain! Think quick, fat tick!" I would swerve around him at the last moment. He gazed back at me with blank cow eyes and couldn't speak. He warbled like a sparrow, drooled, and went on looking in his mirror. Did he see the wind shake the lilacs by our neighbor's hedge back and forth like handbells? They kept ringing out their sweet invisible scent. Peals of petals fell to the ground. "Look harder, Michael," I want to tell him now. "Your namesake is an archangel. Do you see Kathy, our beautiful babysitter, who will kill herself years later with sleeping pills, waving her white dishtowel to call us home to supper?" She once caught me lying on the floor and trying to look up the dark folds of her schoolgirl's wool skirt and slapped me. But don't we all walk forward, gazing backward over our shoulders at the future coming at us from the past like a hit-and-run driver? Michael, God's idiot angel, I see in your mirror our father yanking out the plugs of all the TVs blaring the evening news on his nursing home's locked ward for the demented. He hates the noise, the CNN reporters in Bam, Iran, covering yesterday's earthquake, 6.6 on the Richter scale, twelve seconds, twenty-five thousand dead, thousands more buried alive beneath the rubble. The aftershocks continue. We get live footage of a woman in a purple shawl, sifting through her gold-ringed fingers the crumbled concrete of what were once the blue-tiled walls of her house. She wails and keeps on digging. This morning I dreamed that I was building an arch from pieces of charred brick I'd found in that debris. It was complete except for the keystone, but no brick would fit. What I needed was our father to put his splayed fingers into the fresh mortar where the keystone should have gone and leave his handprints there, so I might put my palms to his. Brother, I held your hand for the first time last winter. Your fingers were warm, rubbery. The skin on the back of your hands was rough and chapped. They are the same fingers that weave placemats from blue wool yarn every day, slowly passing the shuttle over and under the warp, its strands stretched tight as the strings of a harp. It's a silent slow music you make. It takes you weeks to weave a single placemat. Brother, you dropped the hand mirror. It cracked, but didn't shatter. It broke the seamless sky into countless jagged splinters, but still holds the aspen's trembling leaves, the lilacs, you and me, all passing things.
From Dirt Angels by Donald Platt. Copyright © 2009 by Donald Platt. Used by permission of New Issues Poetry & Prose, Western Michigan University. All rights reserved.