For Clara Yu
Chilled cricket calls rasp dwindling in the night;
dew smothers down the umber field;
mist rises from the sluggish streams; I watch the flight
of geese to the horizon's edge; I hold the yield
of eggplants, squash, sparse broccoli
and hear my own faint sigh diminishing
with no more ripeness left to hope for; not for me
new hope for newer hope; I bring
to bear the remnant life I've left behind.
And I know nothing that can make
this brooding quietude give bloom to dying there
in that depleted light, my mind,
if not hunched hemlocks shadowed in the lake
or one blue dragonfly suspended in the air.
From "Fathering the Map" by Robert Pack. (Chicago University Press: $24.95.) 1993 Reprinted by permission.