On the Ground

By Saskia Hamilton b. 1967 Saskia Hamilton
When the collie saw the child
break from the crowd,

he gave chase, and since they both
were border-crossers,

they left this world.
We were then made of—

affronted by—silence.
The train passed Poste 5, Paris,

late arrival, no luck, no
enlarging commentary

magnified in any glass.
“The ineffable

is everywhere in language”
the speaker had said

in the huge hall where
I sat amongst coughers,

students, in the late
February of that year,

at the end of a sinuous
inquiry on sense and sound—

“and very close to the ground,” he’d said.
Like mist risen above

the feet of animals
in a far field north of here.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2012).

RELATED CONTENT

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Saskia Hamilton b. 1967

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Living, The Mind, Youth, Nature, Animals, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics

Poetic Terms Free Verse