from Crossing State Lines [Shirtsleeved afternoons]

Rita Dove

Shirtsleeved afternoons
turn toward leather as the trees
blush, scatter a last
few bright, weary wisps across
the great bruised heart of the South.
The spirit cup drifts
down the pond's moon-sparked highway.
Far laughter, shadows.
Love or poison? Your turn. Drink
to the star-drenched latitudes!
Copyright © 2011 by Rita Dove. From Crossing State Lines, edited by Bob Holman and Carol Muske Dukes. Reprinted with the permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Poems by This Author

Adolescence II by Rita Dove
Although it is night, I sit in the bathroom, waiting.
Borderline Mambo by Rita Dove
As if the lid stayed put on the marmalade.
Ludwig Van Beethoven's Return to Vienna by Rita Dove
Three miles from my adopted city
Reunion 2005 by Rita Dove
The Bistro Styx by Rita Dove
She was thinner, with a mannered gauntness
The Spring Cricket Considers the Question of Negritude by Rita Dove
Under the Viaduct, 1932 by Rita Dove
Vacation by Rita Dove
I love the hour before takeoff
Weathering Out by Rita Dove
She liked mornings the best—Thomas gone

Further Reading

Poems about Landscapes
from In This World of 12 Months
by Marcella Durand
Rocket Fantastic [excerpt]
by Gabrielle Calvocoressi
A lane of Yellow led the eye (1650)
by Emily Dickinson
A Small Hot Town
by Collier Nogues
A Story
by Philip Levine
At the Fishhouses
by Elizabeth Bishop
by Adam Zagajewski
Coastal Plain
by Kathryn Stripling Byer
For-The-Spirits-Who-Have-Rounded-The-Bend IIVAQSAAT
by dg nanouk okpik
Hovering at a Low Altitude
by Dahlia Ravikovitch
Imaginary June
by C. D. Wright
by Chase Twichell
Lake Havasu
by Dorianne Laux
Landscape With The Fall of Icarus
by William Carlos Williams
One Day
by Joseph Millar
Pied Beauty
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Prairie Spring
by Willa Cather
The Pasture
by Robert Frost
The Philosopher in Florida
by C. Dale Young
This Lime Tree Bower My Prison
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Useless Landscape
by D. A. Powell
Where I Live
by Maxine Kumin
Winter Morning
by William Jay Smith