Monastic firs, marginal, 
    conical, in brooding snoods
a finical sun unpacks, clerical

in scarlet fringe of Interstate scrub.
   Raw nerves.  The fields beyond?
Dun bedsheets long abandoned.

Where is the body in such transit?
   Unclear.  But grief
is ever resurrected.  Sick days

in autumn, child on cot-raft,
   chaste bedroom chary
with red smell of measles, self,

lone bed her book transforms
   to Conestoga wagon:
cold rod of folded, frozen quilt,

two greasy iron pans, menses,
   waste of family crowded
in a space winter’s advance eclipses.

Cathedral silence.  Then door opens
   to a tray, tawny tea, weak as straw.
As whiskey grass, flashing now.  Fleeing past.

Copyright © 2021 by Lisa Russ Spaar. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 13, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.