Winter Field (audio only)
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We woke to the darkness before our eyes,
unable to take the measure of the loss.
Who are they. What are we. What have we
abandoned to arrive with such violence at this hour.
In answer we drew back, covered our ears
with our hands to the heedless victory, or vowed,
as I did, into the changed air, never to consent.
But it was already too late, too late for the unfarmed fields,
the men by the station, the park swings, the parking lots,
the ground water, the doves—too late for dusk
Dusk fell every night. Things
fall. Why should I
have been surprised.
Before it was possible
to imagine my life
without it, the winds
arrived, shattering air
and pulling the tree
so far back its roots,
ninety years, ripped
and sprung. I think
as it fell it became
unknowable. Every day
of my life now I cannot
understand. The force
of dual winds lifting
ninety years of stillness
as if it were nothing,
as if it hadn’t held every
crow and fog, emptying
night from its branches.
STARS, SCATTERSTILL. Constellations of people and quiet.
Those nights when nothing catches, nothing also is artless.
I walked for hours in those forests, my legs a canvas of scratches,
trading on the old hopes—we were meant to be lost. But being lost
means not knowing what it means. Inside the meadow is the grass,
rich with darkness. Inside the grass is the wish to be rooted, inside the rain
the wish to dissolve. What you think you live for you may not live for.