by Scott Lowery


               after lines by W. S. Merwin

Setting off as I'd hoped with birdsong at sunrise
               and soft steps on a downhill path soaking with dew
with nothing sooner or later except the whisper that
               moves deep in the green shadows among the habits
of the season and my own wanting to breathe in
               each minute to say here is the morning as I want
to remember it shaken by the cardinal's brass whistle
               the far-off shadow flute of a thrush in the oaks
here's the sound of water running over everything
               that can be counted here I struggled in the web
and went on weaving it with every turn here
               the broken stones of an old wall losing itself
in grapevine and nettles nor point to anything
               except what was there at the moment it was beginning
to be gone nor go on further until the light
               in the jewelweed cools shifts its colors asks
for all that I want but cannot seem to say

Scott Lowery splits his time between southeastern Minnesota and the Milwaukee area, where he's been weathering the pandemic with family. Two of his poems appear in Sheltering with Poems: Community and Connection during COVID (Bent Paddle, 2021). Other recent work can be found in Prairie Schooner, Quiddity, Plainsongs, and Third Wednesday. His short collection, Empty-handed (2013), won the Emergence Chapbook Award from Red Dragonfly Press.