December 23, 2015

Antonia Clark

Women at Graves

If you want to learn
how to go on, study
women at graves,

the way they stand,
backs to the wind,
and how acceptance

settles like a fine mist
in their hair, a light hand
on their shoulders.

Their eyes hold what
the rest of us spend
our brief lives seeking:

an intimate knowledge
of earth and sky, why
they persist, together

yet apart, how a tilting
wing slices the air
at the precise point

of balance between them,
where the swallow goes,
what the crow knows.

The Departed

They gather to recite
our names, a tribe
of peaceful people
who make their home
along the riverbank,

subsisting on the promise
of fish, on the quiet
of late afternoons, when
long blue shadows move
across the endless grass.

They wait for us to tire
of our busyness, to grow
weary in our bones.
They're filled with longing
for us to give in, join them,
but patient as stones.


Antonia Clark's poems have appeared in Anderbo, Apparatus, The Cortland Review, Rattle, Softblow, and other fine places. Her work won an Editor's Favorite Award at Camroc Press Review in 2012. She loves French picnics and plays French café music on a sparkly purple accordion.

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