V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics





          for Diane

Time to go back to the beginning, to the endless rows
of field corn, and the tassels, the long shiny leaves
lightly dusted. Back to the limbs of the black locust
reaching out above the barn. To the silo made of brick,

its roof fallen away, standing now in the empty field.
Split off from the main path there is a trail leading
to the bluff above the creek, where the cemetery
sinks into a last dusk.  It is a place of limestone slabs

left face down, as though they themselves were peering
into the earth, searching for whatever it held once.
Or as though earth alone were able to read them now,
and could look into their legends, their lines of verse,

their names and inscriptions. What would the earth see,
if it could look far enough into those memories? Perhaps
the place from which all this unfolded. There, the silo
is fully laden, the catalpa blooms, and music rings out

in the main house, and dancing. There, in the twilight,
a few couples set out for the edge of the bluff, to sit
with their backs against the stones, and look at the stars.
Let us follow. It is not far. The way is overgrown now,

but I will take a scythe, and go first, while the light
still holds, and clear a path. Come when you are ready.

© by Jared Carter



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