Claudia Emerson Poems

Hit Title Date Added
1.
Bone

It was first dark when the plow turned it up.
Unsown, it came fleshless, mud-ruddled, nothing
but itself, the tendon's bored eye threading
a ponderous needle. And yet the pocked fist
...

2.
Aftermath

I think by now it is time for the second cutting.
I imagine the field, the one above the last

house we rented, has lain in convalescence
long enough. The hawk has taken back the air
...

3.
Artifact

For three years you lived in your house
just as it was before she died: your wedding
portrait on the mantel, her clothes hanging
in the closet, her hair still in the brush
...

4.
Buying The Painted Turtle

Two boys, not quite men, pretended to let it go only to catch it again and again. And the turtle, equally determined, each time gave its heart to escape them. We were near the base of the old dam where the river became a translucent
...

5.
Spring Ice Storm

The forecast had not predicted it,
and its beginning, a calming, rumbled dusk

and pleasant lightning, she welcomed as harbinger
of rain. Then as night came she heard the world
...

6.
Fire Drill

Bells sound them from sleep, and their imaginations
rise, recite all they have been told: the curtains

of fire, the beds, nightgowns, their hair, their hair.
They've practiced this escape before
...

7.
Homecoming

The camera is trained on the door, no one
in the frame, only the dog sleeping. And then
finally, I see this was to surprise you,
filming your arrival, the dog's delight. Only now,
...

8.
Animal Funerals, 1964

That summer, we did not simply walk through
the valley of the shadow of death; we set up camp there,

orchestrating funerals for the anonymous,
found dead: a drowned mole—its small, naked palms
...

9.
Piano Fire

How she must have dreaded us and our sweaty coins, more
than we hated practice, the lessons, scales, the winter-hot parlor,

her arthritic hands, the metronome’s awful tick. She lectured
...

10.
Second Bearing 1919

I have asked him to tell it—how
he heard the curing barn took hours

to burn, the logs thick, accustomed
to heat—how, even when it was clear all
...