You take the granite shoulder revealed
when the lake is drawn down.
I’ll take the bluets stippling the moss
beneath the birch grove.
You get the sigh of the white dog circling
down to slumber, and the flat stones
taught to pock, pock, pock
the shimmering surface. The jays carving
the dawn into strips of day are mine,
hell, why not throw in the crows?
You were awarded the red canoe, but that
was mine, you know, all of that drifting
under Orion and Cassiopeia, fingers
trailing, loon cry, no wake
Previously published in Fifth Wednesday (Fall 2007)
Winner of the Editor’s Prize for Poetry
“Who is coming for him?” the nurse asked, and
in my confusion I thought the gulls were
angels rising and falling through the fog.
Or, they could have been fighter planes from an
old movie reel. Flyboy, I swear the moon
stopped climbing, sat like a whole note between
the power lines. One. Two. Three. Four. I counted
seconds between your breaths. The strength of your
heartbeat shook the bed still. Later, pulling
into the driveway, my headlights caught possum
slipping behind the shed, his long pink tail
curling into shadow. Then the moon rose.
I’m sitting in a child-sized chair.
A young woman, a teacher, says
“Something is up.”
I look at my husband; he’s nodding.
In the noisy room next door
Our son orbits his classmates.
Later, we drive home, but we never get there.
The trees have flipped, their roots
Scratch against the sky.
All of our neighbors have joined a cult.
Our house has turned on its side:
We adjust. I re-arrange the furniture.
My husband begins crawling for the door.
Seventeen years pass.
I’m sitting on a child-sized chair.
I’m about to speak.
Previously published in Smartish Pace (Issue 21)
Finalist for the 13th Annual Erskine J. Poetry Prize
Essay: A Time as Fleeting as Waxwings
This essay was published online in the New York Times on March 29, 2013 and in the Sunday Review on March 31 2013. Here's the link:
Links to poems in online journals: