in a pandemic year
two rabbits chase each other’s shadows
in moonlit snow under the black branches
of the yew I’ve lived with for fifty years.
In the Arboretum prairie, the Jackson Oak
I first saw in full leaf has decayed to a single trunk
and branch–hawk perch, owl stand, but all around
its offspring raise their young green arms.
Robin Chapman’s most recent book is The Only Home We Know (Tebot Bach), recipient of an Outstanding Achievement in Poetry Award from the Wisconsin Library Association and honors from the Council for Wisconsin Writing. Her poems have appeared recently in Poem-a-Day, The Hudson Review and Appalachia. She is recipient of the Helen Howe Poetry Award.
My Colleague Dies during Covid
The email says that they don’t have
any other contact information for her,
that there won’t be a funeral,
that there’s no address to send flowers.
“I wonder if anyone has a photo to help
us put a face with the name,” somebody
writes in the thread.
But what is a face in an age of masks?
What is a name?
A Poem Is a Grave
marked by words.
You have to dig deep
to find its bones.
You have to bury
yourself in it.
I heard that the famous novelist
wrote this on one of his notebooks
before he died.
I guess it’s only natural
to want to sanction the narrative of your life
after you’ve gone,
especially if you’re a writer.
When my father died,
he left no instructions
for a literary executor,
much less for a grieving son.
Clint Margrave is the author of the novel Lying Bastard (Run Amok Books, 2020), and the poetry collections, Salute the Wreckage, The Early Death of Men, and Visitor (Forthcoming) all from NYQ Books. His work has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Rattle, and The Moth, among others.