Dear One Absent This Long While

By Lisa Olstein b. 1972 Lisa Olstein
It has been so wet stones glaze in moss;
everything blooms coldly.

I expect you. I thought one night it was you
at the base of the drive, you at the foot of the stairs,

you in a shiver of light, but each time
leaves in wind revealed themselves,

the retreating shadow of a fox, daybreak.
We expect you, cat and I, bluebirds and I, the stove.

In May we dreamed of wreaths burning on bonfires
over which young men and women leapt.

June efforts quietly.
I’ve planted vegetables along each garden wall

so even if spring continues to disappoint
we can say at least the lettuce loved the rain.

I have new gloves and a new hoe.
I practice eulogies. He was a hawk

with white feathered legs. She had the quiet ribs
of a salamander crossing the old pony post road.

Yours is the name the leaves chatter
at the edge of the unrabbited woods.

Lisa Olstein, “Dear One Absent This Long While” from Radio Crackling, Radio Gone. Copyrigh 2006 by Lisa Olstein. Reprinted with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P. O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA 98368-0271, www.coppercanyonpress.org.

Source: Radio Crackling Radio Gone (Copper Canyon Press, 2006)

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

Poet Lisa Olstein b. 1972

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Spring, Living, Summer, Love, Marriage & Companionship, Nature, Relationships, Men & Women, Infatuation & Crushes

Holidays Valentine's Day

 Lisa   Olstein

Biography

Lisa Olstein grew up near Boston, Massachusetts. She received a BA from Barnard College and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Her first book of poems, Radio Crackling, Radio Gone (2006), won the Copper Canyon Press Hayden Carruth Award. Olstein is also the author of the poetry collections Lost Alphabet (2009), named one of the nine best poetry books of the year by Library Journal, and Little Stranger (2013). . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Spring, Living, Summer, Love, Marriage & Companionship, Nature, Relationships, Men & Women, Infatuation & Crushes

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.