Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


The Steam Engine

I came back to the meadow an unsuspecting hart, trying to wake up from a long night of walking. I was looking for a subtext, a heavy horsy bee doing battle with its inclination. What’s your angle? A little evanescent on the rim, it’s only a willow, beaked and shining, a toothy margin holding up banks. Have we overstayed our party in the heavenly city or are we spilling through its gates trying not to get trampled? On the berm I filled a basket with crashing birds. In the dream you pointed sideways with your thumb where the cars were flying.

Credit


Elizabeth Willis, "The Steam Engine," from Meteoric Flowers, © 2006 by Elizabeth Willis. Used by permission of Wesleyan University Press.

Author


Elizabeth Willis

Elizabeth Willis is the author of several poetry collections, most recently, Alive: New and Selected Poems (New York Review of Books, 2015). 

Date Published: 2006-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/steam-engine