®

Today's poem is by Cleopatra Mathis

Living Here

In the absence of ocean, I have the field
and I walk there with the dogs
on a chain. One who won't shut up,
the other large and grave
with his patient look—we all survey
gray sky, gray woods, absence
turning the season. A scrimshaw of ice
is water's only possibility.
The field is married to silence, a cloud
lying across it, and when it lifts
no horizon takes my eye. No glory of night
falling at sea, light's limitless plane.
In the field, containment
is everything, locked as it is
by evergreen shade. The ground
darkens to a threat.
Why not accept the bounds,
love the confined self?
In the world of appearances, teach me
to believe in the unseen.
I watch where I put my foot—no sound
in this universe but that reassuring thud.


"Living Here" first appeared in Poetry
Copyright © 2000 by The Modern Poetry Association
Reprinted by Verse Daily® by permission of the Editor of Poetry
from What To Tip The Boatman?
Sheep Meadow Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® by permission of the author and Sheep Meadow Press

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