A Certain Slowness of Speech

Such a long life yet so little time to stay up
through the night awaiting that moment
the owl leaves its tree
                                           to alight on the eaves.

I’m certain even my slowness of speech,
though it wishes to leave nothing out, amounts to
passing a hand
                              through an ocean’s incoming wave.

A few friendships remain, each one a pardon,
but not one soul knows that place in the creek
where I stood, age nine,
                                               having survived my old life.

After two days of rain, the clover heads whiten
in the midday heat while I search through a book
for a thought I once had
                                                in response to a certain word.

So difficult to know an end is drawing near when
all I wish to do is follow how the wind suspends
the cedar limbs
                               and then amends where it has been.


Volume  11.2 - December 2018

Jeff Hardin is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Small Revolution and No Other Kind of World. His sixth collection, A Clearing Space in the Middle of Being, is forthcoming in 2019. The Hudson Review, North American Review, Chattahoochee Review, Copper Nickel, Southern Review, and The Cortland Review have recently published his work.