|Chagrin River Review||
How many years have I blackened
my hands in April.
How many years
have I reached into the new ground
and pulled from it
that which would thrive chaotic
were I not there to restore an order
I found pleasing.
It’s only the garden. I have to tell myself
that lie, insistent. As though I want
to deny history, the movement
of the earth, the cycle
that has made us all bow
and break for its pattern.
How many years have I sought
to write about it, to explain dirt
and time, to consider it anew,
as if it is anything but ancient,
as if what I observe
is not some echo, or some bloom,
easy in April, easy to open,
as if it is easy to look at the sun
at such an angle
as not to burn.
And Achilles leaps foreground
despite the resin, sage smell, feather.
We share this moment thanks
to the deer. Their tongues refuse this flora’s fringe.
In drought they hunger. In winter they fall.
Gunshot, war wound, heels and hoofs dance distance.
Dig for water, dig to break clay.
A river waits under this world.
Gabriel Welsch writes fiction and poetry. His fourth collection of poems, The Four Horsepersons of a Disappointing Apocalypse, was published in February 2013 by Steel Toe Books. Previous collections areThe Death of Flying Things (2012), An Eye Fluent in Gray, (chapbook, 2010), and Dirt and All Its Dense Labor (2006). His work has appeared recently inSouthern Review, New Letters, Crab Orchard Review, Main Street Rag, CutBank, and The Collagist. He lives in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, with his family, works as vice president of advancement and marketing at Juniata College, and is an occasional teacher at the Chautauqua Writer’s Center.