The barn bears the weight
of the first heavy snow
White breath of cows
rises in the tie-up, a man
wearing a frayed winter jacket
reaches for his milking stool
in the dark.
The cows have gone into the ground,
and the man,
his wife [...]
The sweet breath of someone's laundry
spews from a drier vent. A screen door
slams. "Carry it?"—a woman's voice—
"You're going to carry it!?" Now I hear
the sound of castors on the sidewalk.
Car doors close softly, engines
turn over and catch. A [...]
The dog has cleaned his bowl
and his reward is a biscuit,
which I put in his mouth
like a priest offering the host.
I can't tear that trusting face!
He asks for bread, expects
bread, and in my power
I might have given him stone. [...]
She lay on her back in the timothy
and gazed past the doddering
auburn heads of sumac.
A cloud—huge, dignified,
and calm—covered the sun
but did not, could not, put it out.
The light surged back again. . . .
Nothing could turn her then
from t [...]
At the grocery store on a rainy July day
I pull in beside a family wagon with
Connecticut plates but no luggage—
summer people then, up for bright days
and cool nights, and local church fairs.
They may have been coming here for years.
Three little [...]
I crouched beside the deepest pool,
and the smell of damp and moss
rose rich between my knees. Water-striders
creased the silver-black silky surface.
Rapt, I hardly breathed. Gnats
roiled in a shaft of sun.
Back again after supper I'd see
a nose poke [...]
I waited in the car while he
went into the small old-fashioned grocery
for a wedge of cheddar.
Late summer, Friday afternoon.
A mother and child walked past
trading mock blows
with paper bags full of—what—
maybe new clothes for school.
They turne [...]
For the hemlocks and broad-leafed evergreens
a beautiful but precarious state of being. . . .
Here in the suburbs of New Haven
nature, unrestrained, lops the weaker limbs
of shrubs and trees with a sense of aesthetics
that is practical and sinist [...]
Evening came, and work was done.
We went for a walk to see
what winter had exacted
from our swimming place on the pond.
The moss was immoderately green,
and spongy underfoot; stepping on it seemed
a breach of etiquette.
We found our picnic table