Matthew Zapruder - American Linden
When you’d like to remember the notion of days,
turn to the barn
asleep on its hill,
a red shoulder holding the weight of clouds.
You could stand still for so many moments.
So little is over and over required,
letting the wind brush your crown.
The lathes of tobacco swing into autumn.
Swallows already discuss the winter.
I know you are tired of imagination.
All that clumsily grasping the sunlight.
Aren’t you tired of bodies too?
Whenever it rains, they fall from the sky
and darken your window.
Clutching each other they call out names
while you sit in the circle thrown by a lamp
and pretend they are leaves.
The potatoes cringe and bury their heads.
Do you see them?
They know where to return when hoofbeats come.
Like you they were not born with pride,
they were born with skins made of earth.
Their eyes are black, and they sing out of tune,
quietly, under the snow.
I’m finally starting to put together a personal anthology of contemporary poems. I’ve heard of others doing this, and it’s a great idea, but I’ve just never gotten myself started. Well, here I go. My own personal canon of what contemporary poetry is capable of.