evolutionyou.net | poetry friday
Falling | Carl Phillips

There’s a meadow I can’t stop coming back to, any

more than I can stop calling it a sacred grove—isn’t

that what it was, once? A lot of resonance, trees asway

with declarations whose traced-on-the-air patterns

the grasses also traced, more subtly, below. As for

strangers: yes, and often, and—with few exceptions—

each desperate either to win back some kingdom he’d

lost, or to be, if only briefly, for once free of one. I did

what I could for them. They did—what they did . . . It was

as if we were rescuable, and worth rescuing, both, and

the gods had noticed this—it was as if there were gods—

and the sky meanwhile crowning every part of it, blue,

a blue crown . . . There’s a meadow I still go back to. It’s

just a meadow—with, sometimes, a stranger, passing

through, the occasional tenderness, a hand to my chest,

resting there, making me almost want to touch something,

someone back. I can feel all the wrecked birds—lying

huddled, slow-hearted, like so many stunned psalms,

against each other—start to stir inside me, their bits of

song giving way again to the usual questions: Why not

stay awhile here forever? and Isn’t this what you keep

coming for? and Is it? I’m tired of their questions. I’m

tired, I say to them—as, with all the sluggishness at first

of doing a thing they’d forgotten how to do, or forgotten

to want to, or had only hoped to forget, they indifferently

open, spread wide their interrogative, gray wings—

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