The Clearing

By Jane Kenyon 1947–1995 Jane Kenyon
The dog and I push through the ring
of dripping junipers
to enter the open space high on the hill
where I let him off the leash.

He vaults, snuffling, between tufts of moss;
twigs snap beneath his weight; he rolls
and rubs his jowls on the aromatic earth;
his pink tongue lolls.

I look for sticks of proper heft
to throw for him, while he sits, prim
and earnest in his love, if it is love.

All night a soaking rain, and now the hill
exhales relief, and the fragrance
of warm earth. . . . The sedges
have grown an inch since yesterday,
and ferns unfurled, and even if they try
the lilacs by the barn can’t
keep from opening today.

I longed for spring’s thousand tender greens,
and the white-throated sparrow’s call
that borders on rudeness. Do you know—
since you went away
all I can do
is wait for you to come back to me.

Jane Kenyon, “The Clearing” from Collected Poems. Copyright © 2005 by Jane Kenyon. Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press.

Source: Collected Poems (Graywolf Press, 2005)

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Poet Jane Kenyon 1947–1995

Subjects Living, Separation & Divorce, Relationships, Pets, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals