Fall 2008: Issue 84

Linda Gregg

What do they say about the land of the dead?

About the ceremony of the body?

About women in long dresses?

What do they say about the innocence of the flesh?

What about the endeavor in nature

at ease with the dance and music?

Long ago, beyond graves, are worlds in state.

The cities still there in ruin. The neck of the ibex.

Walled gardens surrounded by desert.

Imagined lions guarding the gate.

All as it was before.

Worlds out of time still exist.

Worlds of achievement out of mind and remembering

just as the poem lasts.

In the concert of being present.

I have lost my lover and my youth.

I want to praise the meadow, the horse

rolling over in the river with me

as a girl underneath it. Surviving to see

the ferns in the woods, sunlight on blond hills.

And the aged apple trees

in a valley where there used to be a cabin.

Where someone lived. And where small inedible apples

grow. That the deer will eat.