The nimble goats are up the hill already
while the rest of us flounder ear-deep
in what we can’t let go. There’s Susie of
the Thousand Thimbles and Perkins China Doll,
Laurie Manuscript and Carl Marigolds.
What’s been in the shed all summer bobs
on wave-tops near the shame it buoys up,
fat with scrimp-lines and immoderation:
still-wrapped prayer books, pilfered garden rake,
meat left on the bone. Just two are unaccounted for:
the judge’s son and one far too reclusive
to name. If we’re lucky we’ll remember
how Gutterson gave up his corkboard and
the Insurance Man passed a plastic bowl
of chicken wings. And if they send a rescue plane —
but we have never been a place for that.
Isn’t there something left to memorize,
romanticize, or say? Night falls. The judge’s child
appears silhouetted on an old pine bough
stringing late season grapes from his fingers.
Sarah Wolfson is the author of the poetry collection A Common Name for Everything (Green Writers Press, 2019). Her poems have appeared in TriQuarterly, AGNI, The Michigan Quarterly Review, The Fiddlehead, PRISM international, and elsewhere. Originally from Vermont, she lives and teaches writing in Montreal. (updated 10/2019)