A poem by Mary Ruefle

Literature is steep,
changeable, and solitary –
like this day, there is
a tomb, a debt, a crumb,
and intertwined overhanging limbs
in the damp green gloom
of the overgrown graveyard.
For which there is no vocabulary.
So a rook drops a feather.
But only after his screed.
See that broken sunray yonder?
A moth has gotten into my soul.
The sad, gritty stuff of life –
flowers freeze, children drown,
she died on the sofa –
but see that broken sunray yonder –
who can tell the difference
between ocher and umber?
No one, I am glad.

Mary Ruefle’s latest book is Dunce (Wave Books, 2019).

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