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About this Poem 

“I wrote this poem after a three-day backpacking trip during which every possible thing went wrong.  We spent twelve hours of it lost in a valley, desperate from exhaustion.  At the time I was thinking about how easy it is to valorize the character-building qualities of ‘not knowing what will happen’ and ‘being lost’ when you’re not actually lost.”
—Joanna Klink

from "3 Bewildered Landscapes”


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

means not knowing what it means. Inside the meadow is the grass,

rich with darkness. Inside the grass is the wish to be rooted, inside the rain

the wish to dissolve. What you think you live for you may not live for. 

One star goes out. One breath lifts inside a crow inside a field.

Copyright @ 2014 by Joanna Klink. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright @ 2014 by Joanna Klink. Used with permission of the author.

Joanna Klink

Joanna Klink

Joanna Klink is the author, most recently, of Excerpts from a Secret Prophecy (Penguin Books, 2015).

by this poet

poem

We woke to the darkness before our eyes,
unable to take the measure of the loss.
Who are they. What are we. What have we
   abandoned to arrive with such violence at this hour.
In answer we drew back, covered our ears
with our hands to the heedless victory, or vowed,
   as I did, into

2
poem

 

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2
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