Today's poem is by Joel Friederich

Without Us

What if we'd left enduring
versions of ourselves in terra
cotta standing at shorelines
where we'd been transfixed
for so much of a season—

as if we'd been so infused
with water and light, perception
became a soft clay spreading
behind our faces and arms

and we changed into a cast
likeness of our astonishment
at the hour when geese
gathered in distant fields—

the calamity of their voices
before a sudden rise, froth
of a hundred wing beats then
the silent resolve of departure—

as if we'd remained, unmoved
witnesses to earth's surface
tensions lacing together in
water and air, crystallizing
on frangible blades of grass
and the lake's graying flesh,
thickening to a visible skin—

what if right now we awoke
still there among the mute
forms of things, despising
nothing, asking for no entry,
enclosed in winter's language?

Copyright © 2009 Joel Friederich All rights reserved
from Blue to Fill the Empty Heaven
Silverfish Review Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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