New Poem


October River

In my 50th year, migrating north
I come to the bank of October River.
I don't want to cross, but
like a shorebird I am pulled
by the fatal magnet in my skull.

The other side looks bright:
ice mountains fade to white.
Too harsh, too vast, so chill. But
behind me all the prairie burns--
the path back south is walls of flame:
my childhood home is smoke, now falls
my church: explodes in embers. My books of poems,
my records, all those boxes. All my high school
loves--your letters, your apple-scent shampoos,
your underwear and lipstick kisses
your midnight secrets burned.

October's waters already cold. But
emerald light bends birch trees over
in swoon. Crows in willows nod in dusk's first glow.
Like every pilgrim gone before
who carved his name into this wood, I must drop my coat,
step into the tide. I swim.

Add new comment

Book club members have been some of my most enthusiastic and careful readers. I’m thrilled to share my work with you, answer your questions and tell you some of the stories behind the stories. This is our spot, just for us. Here, we can chat:  If I’m nearby, I’ll come and visit your club. Otherwise, we can Skype, talk over the phone or email. Sometimes, I’ll send surprises or hold contests.

Tell us all about your book club!
Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.