Accept the Gift A Letter to James Wright, Deceased

Like snow, the poem breaks into petals
and crystals, sharp things like stilettos.
It is just now April, or mid-May,
the shadows of flowers lie neglected
in the garden while cedar and fir hang
lovely in the long-gone frost of March.

 

Why does it take some happiness
and a loneliness one can only cry for
to make these poems? I’m sorry you had
the gift. It makes for a miserable life.

How Ohio lived in you, your verse freed
and standing on its own, like a colt,
or an orphan removed from the nest
only to have its illusions shattered
in the world wide enough that you can’t
know yourself, or any part but Ohio,
and all things west, north, south, the distance
from home one calls a map of the earth.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

El don de Dios es la sabiduría. Salomón la recibe como un acto misericordioso de Dios.
Juan Luis CalderónJuly 26, 2017
Then ask: Is it a pearl of great price?
Terrance KleinJuly 26, 2017
Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
The people behind “An Inconvenient Truth” can be forgiven for indulging in a bit of “I told you so” in their follow-up film, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.”
John AndersonJuly 26, 2017
Catholic Relief Services delivers seed and farming tools in Central African Republic in 2014. Photo: Kevin Clarke.
The impact of the Trump foreign aid reductions, if enacted, “would be swift, devastating, and felt for years to come, imperiling millions of lives and the course of global development, stability, and partnership.”
Kevin ClarkeJuly 26, 2017