To Explain

Hilda Raz

From: Divine Honors, Wesleyan University Press, 1997

seeingred13.jpg

The future is what does not happen - Colette

The euphorbia shot a pale rilled tube
toward the light, so all week
I have been grieving, pouring deep gutturals
into the stone edgings of the back garden,
down on my knees, seeming to dig the impatiens.

Nobody heard me but the shade and rain in air.
I must have seemed from a distance
doubled over a dumbbell (what you call weights)
so deeply did I hold my knees to rock
minutes at a time, then stop.

Then once on Sunday as the sky cleared for an hour
I wondered how to say
why I couldn't say
words had gone
in their ashy fans,
and only the wrap of my body
around loss, stayed.

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