Skip to main content

The Landscape

ISSUE:  Spring 1983

We knew about the ocean:
  sharks and moods and pearls.
     Flood waters in Brigantine.

So we did the safe thing,
 a house eight miles in
  on the edge of the Barrens—

no pure sand, but the soil
 that has sand in it
  in which the scrub oaks grow.

We should have known nothing’s safe.
 That love is an ocean too.
  That locks break if touched

just right. And so we live now
 with the doors open, the heart
  learning about the fullness and ache

that comes from letting in.
 The flowers are rose and violet.
  They grow in spite

of where we live. Three miles away
 the old vegetable man thinks
  now of drought, now of rain.

We try to buy from him.
 We try to do the right thing
  but sometimes we lick the palm

of a middleman, change the balance,
 follow our hungers.
  Everyone suffers.

This landscape won’t stop.
 This landscape is everywhere.
  Come fall we find ourselves

on our knees, doing what must be done
 in the yard. The cold comes.
  The cold is wisdom

saying huddle together, go inside.
 And the cold follows us
  as far as it can.


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Recommended Reading