Written on the Due Date of a Child Never Born

David Wojahn Click to

David Wojahn is the author of nine collections of poetry, including Interrogation Palace: New and Selected Poems 1982-2004 (Pittsburgh, 2006), a finalest for the Pulitzer and winner of the O. B. Hardison Award from the Folger Shakespeare Library.  His collection World Tree received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and his most recent is For the Scribe (Pittsburgh, 2017).  He has produced two books of essays and is a Guggenheim fellow, as well as winner of NEA Grants, the Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize and the Amy Lowell Traveling Poetry Scholarship.  Wojahn teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University, and in the MFA in Writing Program of Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Echinacea, bee balm, aster. Trumpet vine
I watch your mother bend to prune, water

sluicing silver from the hose –
				   another morning
you will never see. Summer solstice: dragonflies flare
the unpetaled rose. 6 a.m.
			      & already
she’s breaking down, hose flung to the sidewalk

where it snakes & pulses in a steady
keening glitter, both hands to her face. That much

I can give you of these hours.
				That much only.
First & blossom forged by salt, trellising

your wounded helixes against our days,
tell us how to live
		        for we are shades, facing

caged the chastening sun. Our eyes
are scorched & lidless. We cannot bear your light.