Willow In Spring Wind: A Showing by Jorie Graham

Pointless homesickness. Pointless shudderings.

Wind now clockwise: surrendering this way.

Wind now counter: surrendering that.

Wide tree with its good throat up from the dark


flinging forth embroiderings of inaudibles,

limbs jerked like a cough--then like a credo, flung--

then broken oars, then oars not broken at all but thrumming in

unison into


the open sea of my

holy watching.

Clasp me, trellis of glancings,

delicatest machine--


body of the absconding god--

replacing something (I know not what)--

undulating, muttering liquidly . . .

Is it my glance or is it the willow kneeling wildly now


as if looking for corpses,

dragging its alphabet of buds all along the gravely walk--

scraping--ripping--along the seemingly insatiable

hardness of gravel? Also the limestone wall they slap . . . .


Where is the sharp edge that we seek? Where

the open mouth?--

the true roughness--halo distended--

glittering with exaggeration--


dazzling the still philosophies--

From “The Errancy” by Jorie Graham (Ecco: 128 pp., $22.) Copyright 1997 Reprinted by permission.