There are always linens to fold
here, and sweeping,
and the sand never really pulls up from the carpet.
The new owners hung curtains
over our bare windows
and then abandoned the place.
Blue jays caw in the early morning,
wondering where we have gone.
Listen to them;
drink in the forest air.

The woods still gives off that scent we knew,
even down by the old garbage dump,
and the driveway’s two grooves have
disappeared under dune grass —
though the tiger lilies you planted
manage to find the sun
in the clearing.
Listen to the blue jays caw and
brush the sand from your feet.

How has this happened —
time takes its own turns,
hiding even the boldest oak, no less
its most tender shoot
(so lonely when
we are not there)?
The brush crowded our minds over
in that dim morning we left and
made us forget what we were born knowing.
Perhaps it is wiser to let time
have its way. Perhaps.
Come, now, listen to the blue jays caw:
tend this soft space.


I was thinking over William Butler Yeats’ “The Stare’s Nest by My Window,” one of my all time favorite poems. There is an incredibly modest homage to Yeats here (and ok, the temperature is a little lower in my poem; fortunately, I am not in the middle of a civil war). But besides learning so much from him about image and phrasing, I would like to learn how to use repetition like he does. He can kind of get you into a trance, which he uses as a powerful contrast to the reality the rest of the poem describes.