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The Unfulfilled

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

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Between acceptance and the sense of loss

I pause, reluctant to admit the blame.

Leaves lie along the streets as if to gloss

A grief they never knew, could never name.

I watch them, knowing I am still the same.

Love has its battles and its counterparts

But friendship has to make rules of its own

Both for betrayals and for broken hearts,

Also for feelings that were never shown;

Emotion’s not explained by thought alone.

Love could be stressed in touches and in looks.

We only have the easy words we say

When close together. Words seem out of books

When there is any absence or delay;

Distances not our selves, perhaps, betray.

My letters go, hectic with crossings-out,

Having no substitute for pause in speech.

I wait for answers, building out of doubt

More feeling than mere friendships ever reach,

Learning a lesson I would fear to teach.

The Unfulfilled

It was love only that we knew

At first. We did not dispossess

Each other of the total view

That is quite blurred when passions pass.

I felt myself, acknowledged you.

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Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF


Why did no one ask you what you saw

And found when you were dead?

For there’s no doubt that dead is what you were.

All breath had gone and you were cold. They laid

You in a tomb and your relations shed

Tears and mourned for you.

And then, this wonder rising up indeed,

A little Christ. Did no one really know

What to ask? Were they too filled with awe

And silenced? Or, maybe

All were so joyful at the sight they saw

And so astounded at what they could see

That, at the time at least, no question came

Into their minds when they

Saw you alive and called you by your name.

It seems more likely that you could not say

What after-death can yield and mean and show,

That there were no words for

That place or time when human spirits know

This whole vast what? There was no metaphor.

Good Friday

It is the day of death and the burnt-out sun

And the teetering cross and a man who is God crying out

To his hiding Father and he and his Father are one

But the man on the cross carries the world’s doubt

And asks where his Father has gone.

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The Aegean

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781574416343

Part I.

Megan Grumbling University of North Texas Press PDF


Some Kind of Hunter

He coaxed a pregnant woman right across the river, and it weren’t no easy bridge.

A cousin of an in-law, broke as dirt, she come up visiting from Vermont too poor to buy a license. Booker paid it, set a rifle in her hands, and took her up to Perkinstown, the brook side, where they come upon this bridge, just beams and cables, rough.

Full six months big, a borrowed gun; to her, that span, it looked like one hell of a stunt when Booker brought her up to it, said, Look, you’ve gotta cross that river on them wires.

Now, Booker’s gone these routes, matters of course, for quite a while, and spares no care or feat— hauls moose out of the woods in split canoes, checks hoofprints in the gravel pit’s pale sand most every morning, seeing where they cross.

A deer makes no more noise than shadow does, he told his novice kin, and knows the sound by going over into silence, deep, and back, more than a couple times. So when he led this woman, large with child, up to the bridge, and she replied, Oh no—I can’t do that, he tried to make her see the other side.

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Her Hands

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

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