EXCERPTS


YESTERDAY, FOR INSTANCE

Randall Watson


Yesterday, for instance, on my way to work, I saw
a man in a flannel shirt and bluejeans kneeling.
His shirt was green and it was early morning and one hand
rested on the blackiron stays of a neighbor’s fence, the other
          parting them, passing through.
As I said it was morning and the shadows of the bars
were on his back and he was reaching through his drunkenness
          for the Doberman that guards the house.
The light was low and gold colored and the dog leaned forward,
buried its nose in the man’s cupped palm as if breathing him
          into itself.
So I called in to work and told them I couldn’t make it, not today,
and though it was a lie there was some truth in it.
And in the truth of that lie there was a poem or a picture
          in the making, though it wasn’t this poem.
The dog and the light, the young man kneeling, these
          were for some other poem.
This poem wanted a vision of the Tetons from the top of
          Bear-Tooth Pass.
It had its own lies to tell.
It wanted to watch the snow fall and then wade out into that
          blinding.

Poems used with permission of the authors, and may not be re-used without their permission.