Long Ago My Father Died



Montana twilight
and the river each day a full measure colder
between poplars and
among the pine needles, and
from that shore below the mountains, the water
whispering urge and constant. This way. Over here.

The current catches –
no stopping and starting, no fences.
There’s the sky turning ever more purple,
there is the river, split and yellow:
no boat, no fish rising,
the river’s long, long veins
a tangling of truth and memory.

The blood still begs for direction home. This river points
closer to the wilderness,
floods in. Nothing can hold against that current.
Now it is almost over.

After. The greens were all perfectly pretty
and the grass smell
was a kind of happiness
as his center of gravity slowly shifted
toward water.

 

Sources:

Adrie Kusserow, “Daily Bread”
John Haines, “Missoula in a Dusty Light”
Jane Hirshfield, “The Heat of Autumn”
Sharon Lee, “The Fruit Jar”
Sharon Lee, “Lily”
William Stafford, “Montana Ecologue”
Patricia Smith, “Man on the TV Say”
Mary Jo Bang, “Where”
Adrie Kusserow, “Love Poem to Jane”
David Thomas, “The Ten Thousand Things”
Richard Hugo, “West Marginal Way”
Marie Howe, “Watching Television”
Elizabeth Bishop “The Riverman”
Mary Jo Bang, “September Is”
Richard Hugo, “The River Now”
Jane Hirshfield, “Beneath the Snow, The Badger’s Steady Breathing”
William Stafford, “Montana Ecologue”
Jane Hirshfield, “It Was Like This: You Were Happy”
Mary Jo Bang, “We Took Our Places”
Marie Howe, “Rochester, New York, July 1989”
Marie Howe, “The Grave”
Adrie Kusserow “Snowflake Bently”
Adrie Kusserow, “White Tulip”


Jennifer Saunders lives in Switzerland with her Swiss husband and their two Swiss-American sons. She writes poems, struggles with Swiss-German, and teaches small children how to play hockey. Her work has appeared in BluePrintReview, Ibbetson Street Magazine, Literary Bohemian, Literary Mama, and elsewhere.

 

1 Comment

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