To Anna, On Her Retirement by Robbie Gamble

To Anna, On Her Retirement

Is this what you’ve been
imagining you could discard:
the petty supervisors clucking
about their neurotic fiefdoms;
rubrics, memos, misogyny,
emails, emails, more emails?
A friend described her passage
as “rewirement,” and it’s amazing
the difference a letter makes,
all your beleaguered neurons
shedding buckets of cortisol—
see how they unclench from
“doing, doing, doing” into simply
being. The mountain across
the valley isn’t doing anything,
it just is, a gorgeous astonishment
every sunrise when I open
my eyes. As are you. The trees
in the orchard, sure, they bear
fruit, but mostly they radiate
gratitude for having found
a home here, on this hillside
as you have too, reveling
in healthful elements: air,
water, rich soil, good friends
the churn of seasons, a circle
of community. You have always
been loveable, but now you have
time to savor this hard-won truth.
Taste it, Beloved, let it wash
over you like a sunset’s tender
afterglow. And welcome!


Robbie Gamble (he/him) is the author of A Can of Pinto Beans (Lily Poetry Review Press, 2022). His poems have appeared in Lunch Ticket, Poet Lore, RHINO, Salamander, and The Sun. He divides his time between Boston and Vermont.