Margaret Gibson Click to

Margaret Gibson is the author of a memoir, The Prodigal Daughter (University of Missouri Press, 2008) and eleven books of poems, all from LSU press, most recently One Body (2007), Second Nature (2010) and Broken Cup (2014). She lives in Preston, CT. and is Professor Emerita, University of Connecticut.  For more information visit and

Hayscent fern in one windowpane, rhododendron
in another, red barn siding—

you’re staring out the window, as if what you see
out there might wake

the inner word you want, that fugitive, unfaithful
word wed now to silence.  As we wait,

I try to imagine your brain as a window
fitted with white squares of mist—then frost,

then snow thickening on one pane, on another,
and another . . . .  Slowly

the ferns vanish, scent and root.  For you, each moment
arrives and departs in a swift

migration, like the tanagers that didn’t, this spring, return.
Mist over the memory of tanagers.

And now I blank out the panes that frame two oaks
and a rope hammock. . .

a void where once were form and fragrance,
tall trees and the faint

pattern of braided rope—an impression (now
I remember) a fossil

printed on my firm thighs and onto the smooth
under skin of your arms—after

we’d slept there, barely an hour, suspended in sunlight.


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