what were the signs when should you have thought something that it might happen what was missed where were you looking how long had it been leading up a shadow change in the air intake of breath hawk shifting the river looks up says I only see what I see I show you everything I can there plain and clear the bare trees leaning across yawning limbs gnawed by weather ragged ice-broke branches leaking sap the absence of clouds a grey feather drifting on drafts
a mix of mud and dirt-ice beside the bank old boot tracks soften growing smooth reckless as the ground gives up its cold when will the worms feel it is time how will their churning change what is in the works the upthaw February sun holding each green-necked gander along the path in its hand equinox in sight everything lengthening opening of wings and whistles lacework of early leaf buds mirrored in the river see the water breathe away from reeds see the quiet current absorb city sirens what should a person where to look how drum of helicopter bus brakes sighing someone speeding listen acceleration
she was still smiling at that age still an easiness there must we always look back this place of warning what was missed a lull of caring a not attending what was needed to wish to have seen known even now the lateness of the hour the pastness of what was closing the ever not moving into being attend to what pay pay pay before or after
you will never know what seed fell from your boot what did you carry how will you know have known been knowing tenses fail not enough to say it was then and until now standing planted what stance quick on furred feet is that ready or not it already was is the thing missed is the coming in is the what’s above what’s below all that you didn’t know but if you could have or did or would then what because of how it’s little and little and long put together traps unannounced or in words unfamiliar
how do you catch on to the change before its wake of disaster when there’s time still time the red-winged blackbird just keeps on calling Okalee! My reed It’s mine It’s mine Okalee! My reed It’s mine It’s mine what o what does the soft brown rabbit know carried high up in a clutch of claw?
Mary Buchinger, author of three poetry books, einfühlung/in feeling (forthcoming), Aerialist (2015), and Roomful of Sparrows (2008), is President of the New England Poetry Club (founded by Amy Lowell, Robert Frost, Conrad Aiken) and Professor of English and Communication Studies at MCPHS University in Boston; her work has appeared in AGNI, Gargoyle, Nimrod, Salamander, and elsewhere.