from “The Trees Witness Everything”

The Wild Geese

They are not wisdom
or freedom or history.
They are not what’s lost.
They are nothing but wild geese.
I can hear them everywhere,
wings pushing down metaphor.


Late Spring

Does spring start grieving
in April or May? Once each
spring, the girl appears
in the white house behind mine.
The window opens.
The girl paces, phone to ear.
One day I look up,
the girl is gone, window closed,
and I go back to dying.



Have you ever stood
on a highway in pitch-black
and heard nothing but singing?


The First Year

The year after death
is full of stretching, where things
pull so hard your bones
break, because they were never
bones, were always solitude.



The crows have lifted
away all the question marks.
They aren’t interested
in finding truth, since they have
already seen our insides.


Copyright © 2021 by Victoria Chang. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 7, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“These are a group of small poems that are a part of my forthcoming book, The Trees Witness Everything (Copper Canyon Press, 2022). They are all written in various syllabic forms and the titles are all W.S. Merwin poem titles.”
—Victoria Chang