Today's poem is by Leah Nielsen

Apology, a Love Poem

How the small fire reaches into the fallen branches,
and the lawn chairs—webbing cracked, frames worn
to bent like the edge of land along the river—hold

the weight of us, and how a dull fleshing knife
takes to the tangle of hooks, last year's line still stuck
to some and how I'll say I'm sorry

until I forgive myself. And how the sticks root
in the sand, the chalk line bound to them.
Apologize until I forgive you

for what you didn't do. How easily
the night crawlers slip onto the hooks, knot
themselves around the end. How you toss the trotline

smooth as water into the water and the water smoothes
itself into the night, and the night pulls
the sparks from the fire and nothing fades.

Copyright © 2003 Leah Nielsen All rights reserved
from Quarterly West
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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