He’s come to hate the academy, its sterile rigors.
Steel rails, parallel; long ribbon of wooden ties:
all night, all day, trains rattle that whole apparatus.
He lays his poem anthology on the track.
Holly bushes buried by two feet of snow.
On the sidewalk, shoveling, he uncovers a child’s
mitten. In half-light, he holds it up—red, green, tiny.
He pockets it, shovels and thinks. Maybe the lost one
is safe, at home. Or the child is one-armed, maimed.
Or, under all this whiteness, is lying cold, alone.
Always she goes, carrying her album: Photos
of the Future.
But back at home, uneasy,
he wanders room to room.
She tells him, “Stop
looking, but not searching. Wait for Time to
return, and for the wave to break at our door.”
Joel Chace has published work in print and electronic magazines such as The Tip of the Knife, Counterexample Poetics, OR, Country Music,Infinity's Kitchen, and Jacket. Most recent collections include Sharpsburg, from Cy Gist Press, Blake's Tree, from Blue & Yellow Dog Press, Whole Cloth, from Avantacular Press, Red Power, from Quarter After Press, Kansoz, from Knives, Forks, and Spoons Press, and Web Too, from Tonerworks.