Narrow Road to the Deep North 

I’ve been turning in the gloom for years

Making vows, Lord, hoping apples,

Skies late winter will turn to spring,

Just enough Rachmaninoff,

Maybe we can really go back home…

I sat in the Cafe Strindberg

December frost on a window

Coffee steaming

Pencils before me—

What might poems be for?

Even then I was half milk

Half iodine, optimistic

And very sad,

The songs on high

Were so cold

Each silent word

Like a spoon in snow.

I learned my work like everyone,

 

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