I'm going to study the yard. This is
what I'm thinking, standing in the kitchen
(in a brief parenthesis of calm in
the afternoon's demands) looking out the
back door's blue-latticed windows at the wet
yard littered with unraked leaves. Marking
the wood fence at the far end—its gnarled and scoured
tones of brown, the spaces between pickets
where slim fingers of lilacs have poked through—
I read it left to right, the fence ending
in exclamation. Shrubs, telephone pole,
a towering tree whose leaves have brightly
yellowed. The tree, what's its name? Already,
there's something I don't know.
Matthew Guenette's first book, Sudden Anthem, won the 2007 American Poetry Journal Book Prize from Dream Horse Press. I have work forthcoming in decomP, Umbrella, and the Versus Anthology (Press 23, 2009).