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Next

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.