Written on the Due Date of a Child Never Born

David Wojahn Click to

David Wojahn’s most recent collection, World Tree, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2011. He teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University, and in the MFA in Writing Program of Vermont College of Fine Arts.  He has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation and the NEA, as well as the 2008 Carole Weinstein Prize and the 2013 Poets Prize.

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.
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