poem index


Rose Styron

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Rose Styron is the author of four poetry collections: Fierce Day (Friesen Press, 2015), By Vineyard Light (Rizzoli, 1995), Thieves' Afternoons (Viking, 1973), and From Summer to Summer (Viking, 1965). She has written introductions to Letters to My Father (Lousiana State University Press, 2009), a collection of letters written by her husband, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer William Styron, to his father, and The Selected Letters of William Styron (Random House, 2012), which she edited. Also a human rights activist, Styron has traveled widely for Amnesty International and other human rights organizations. She lives on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.

by this poet

We were the family
there on his bed the five of us
touching his arms, his chest,
cradling his head.

For children
bending to
him, to ease his departure, bless
his mysterious

then I alone
uncovering the bony legs,
preparing him for rest.

Now I, in the limbo of
our fashioned earth,
cannot remember
how to

Each crisp autumn
there are fewer leaves, more clarity—
light cycles of the haymound
odors of late roses
rivers rushing where we
once meandered
content in the casual chaos of each
season, plotting no espionage
because we did not know
the world as terror then.


No one’s awake
but us, and a bird.
The day’s too beautiful
to speak a word.