It Comes to This, By ROBERT PACK

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.

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