Much melting, and crows close to home.
Snow giving its fingerprints this March morning.
If I could, I would take your arm
in the manner of our European forebears,
linked elbows, fist pressed close to the heart,
singing songs to the springtime, singing old songs.
It would be this much to give the world,
to the dead in the ground who need consoling, need consoling.
It would be this much to give to the world
which is not like a boot in the face, but a blessing.
The wordless birches rise up, a pure promise, but it is
early, the day collects in puddles, you are far off.
And remembering noise in the wind, and remembering.
Your eyes which are paler than sleep
kissed from the forehead of one who is still dreaming.
If I could, I would take your arm.
Then the crow in the pine would know us, saying
These are the ones who knew so little, all this time.

–Karen Volkman

Yet another great find that came by way of Virgin in the Volcano. Thanks VV, you complete me, again and again and again.

Karen Volkman is an American poet and author of Spar, winner of the James Laughlin Award and the Iowa Poetry Prize, and Crash’s Law, which was selected for the National Poetry Series. Her work has won her fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Society of America, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Akademie Schloss Solitude. She currently teaches at the University of Montana at Missoula.