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About this Poem 

"The poem is addressed to a close friend. Several decades into our friendship we become terribly estranged from each other—and I wanted to see if I could reach her in the poem, and I wanted to wish her well."

—Joanna Klink

Given

Joanna Klink

And I carried to that emptiness
between us the birds
that had been calling out
 

all night. I carried an old
bicycle, a warm meal,
some time to talk.
 

I would have brought
them to you sooner
but was afraid your own
 

hopelessness would keep you
crouched there. If you spring up,
let it not be against me
 

but like a weed or a
fountain. I grant you
the hard spine of your
 

childhood. I grant you
the frowning arc of this morning.
If I could I would grant you
 

a bright throat and even
brighter eyes, this whole hill
of olive trees, its
 

calmness of purpose.
Let me not forget
ever what I owe you.
 

I have loved the love
you felt for those gardens
and I would grant you
 

the always steadying
presence of seeds.
I bring to that trouble
 

between us a bell that might
blur into air. I bring the woods
and a sense of what lives there.
 

Like you, I turn to sunlight for
answers. Like you, I am
not sure where it has gone.
 

Copyright © 2013 by Joanna Klink. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on September 10, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Copyright © 2013 by Joanna Klink. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on September 10, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Joanna Klink

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STARS, SCATTERSTILL. Constellations of people and quiet. 

Those nights when nothing catches, nothing also is artless. 

I walked for hours in those forests, my legs a canvas of scratches,

trading on the old hopes—we were meant to be lost. But being lost

poem
Am I not alone, as I thought I was, as I thought
The day was, the hour I walked into, morning
When I felt night fly from my chest where prospect had
Slackened, and close itself off, understanding, as I thought I did,
That the ground would resist my legs and not let them
Break nor let them be released into air as