September 11, 2013
Cracking the Sky
It’s time to talk about grief
as if the mere mention could
crack the sky leaving the stars
to break through shattering
As if at a preordained hour
all the lovers of the world
will stand still, like the minute
of remembrance for the dead,
then turn and walk from each other
trailing a scent different for each couple,
here a trace of anise, there the gnarled
root of wild ginseng known to help
the memory and cheer the heart.
Each man shaped by what ails him:
a bad liver, a jaw housing neglected teeth.
For the woman the signs more subtle,
a hand’s slight tremor, an eye that wanders
at dusk like the last cow in pasture.
There is no possibility of resolution,
only the remnants of torn silk and a
tweed cap dropped on a railroad platform.
First published in the Greensboro Review, Winter 95-96.
Carol V. Davis is the author of “Between Storms” (Truman State University Press, 2012). She won the 2007 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry for “Into the Arms of Pushkin: Poems of St. Petersburg,” 2007.