He stands at the edge of the field,
the eastern side in shadow now.
Hedges darken down to the river. In the far
pasture, sheep shine in a small crowd.
All are at rest; and yet nothing has yet
been harvested. The next hour descends,
tomorrow’s work awaited in the muscle.


Next patient, next patient, she says.
They file through from the waiting room.
Penitent? She turns to the attending
and wakes. Beyond the house a car
moves along the bright south road.
She must get dressed. She sits on the bed,
dressed as she is, no longer expected.


Three weeks pass before I feel able
to face it and am sorry for having
said yes. Which of the many thousand books
should I consult? The even type shelters
unrest and labor. Dawn. On the desk,
Morandi’s objects herd together
on a postcard next to a jar of pencils.



[Saskia Hamilton is the author of As for Dream and Divide These, and, in the UK, Canal: New and Selected Poems. She is also the editor of The Letters of Robert Lowell and the co-editor of Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. She teaches at Barnard College, Columbia University, and lives in New York]

Copyright © 2010 by Saskia Hamilton, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.