I came upon that gate
that tracery’d gently into open

there lay the sum of the dearest
once belonging, the memoried
that scattered, then, compilingly
length’,d into the poor pale

no place to bring one’s birth
this hill they let run down
among them where the scant
droops to astray with dearth’d

             the one and one,
a four, or ten even and seldom’d
wisp’d across listened into grass

there where            only
                as a grey amount
coming on with swerve
solemns afar               whole family
             my dear ones


From World’d Too Much: The Selected Poetry of Russell Atkins, edited by Kevin Prufer and Robert E. McDonough © 2019 by Russell Atkins.