Monday Jun 24

EverwinePeter Peter Everwine’s most recent books of poetry are From the Meadow: Selected and New PoemsWorking the Song Fields (versions of Nahuatl poetry) and The Countries We Live In (selected translations of Natan Zach).  His honors include the Lamont Prize, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. He lives in Fresno, CA. 

Another Spring

Another spring.
In a corner under the eaves
of the porch, a nesting dove—
the same returning dove—tosses
a few dry weeds, willy-nilly,
into the prevailing wind, then waits
for them to fall in place.
Some do.
Because I mean her no harm
she allows me to draw close
to her precarious balcony.
I bid her good morning,
she cocks her head at me and blinks--
two old familiars who share
a moment of dappled light falling
on the peaceable kingdom
of the front porch.
This morning, a light drift
of feathers on the lawn
and the day’s expectations sour.
Each spring this dumb show of events
repeats itself: a nest abandoned, another
plundered by crow or jay, eggs
spilled from their thatch, an inch
of blue flesh, like a maimed thumb,
drying in the sun.
Does the dove, in its season,
despite its plaintive moan, learn nothing?
And I, in mine?  I fetch the paper
from the lawn, people drive by
to another day of work.
Nothing is brought to completion.
Later I’ll sweep away the nest—empty,
again, of everything but a blind
belief in the possible

The Train Station of Milan

Leaving Milan, what I remember
is the old man in a blue cap
who stood apart from the press of travelers,
waving good-by as if bereft.
In the failing light of that winter day,
framed by the great vault of the station
and growing smaller in the distance,
he seemed already blurred with Time.
I was young then, with few cares
and a suitcase full of destinations.
I gave him little thought in passing.
The old man surely is dead now,
and I am of the age he was
when I first saw him—as I see
him now--that winter afternoon
in Milan, his hand extended, palm up,
his fingers opening and closing,
as if he were setting free something
he held, if only for a moment,
then beckoning it to come back.