John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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Poet's Corner: After After

After After

Ragwort. Stonecrop.
Bitterroot. Above
treeline, the slow
rocksplitters show
their tiny pink
and yellow flowers.
Give them a couple
of centuries, they’ll
break this fell to
meadow. Yesterday,
we broke our knees
here, on the heave
and pitch, upthrust
and outcrop of stone.
Today, on Fern and
Odessa, it’s chilly
in the sun, but the
walking’s easier.
Above us, wind roars
through the spruce
bearing the heavy
freight of the earth’s
breathing. Not our
human world, where so
much comes to not
enough. And not like
death. More like
what comes after after.
Up the trail knotted
hard behind me, I see
my brother-in-law;
his two, small sons;
my wife and her
sister; and further
back, and smaller
still, their parents.
Tiny figures, all
of us, in some old
Sung painting, strung
out serenely down the
sharp grade of a great,
grey-brown mountain;
understanding little
of what’s being said
by the billion-tongued
aspen, in the harsher
language of the sun.

Robert Dana (born 1929)

Tags: poet's corner

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