The Coffins

By Michael Chitwood b. 1958 Michael Chitwood
Two days into the flood
they appear, moored against
a roof eave or bobbing caught
in the crowns of drowned trees.
Like fancy life boats
from an adventurer’s flag ship,
brass plating and grips,
walnut sheen, scroll work,
they slip through the understory
on this brief, bad river.
What have they discovered
and come back to account?
Or is this the beginning
of the marvelous voyage
and they plan never to return?

Poem copyright ©2000 by Michael Chitwood, whose most recent book of poems is Spill, Tupelo Press, 2007. Poem reprinted from Tar River Poetry, Vol. 48, no. 1, Fall, 2008, by permission of  Michael Chitwood and the publisher.

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Poet Michael Chitwood b. 1958

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Living, Death, Nature, Weather

 Michael  Chitwood


Poet and essayist Michael Chitwood was born in Rocky Mount, Virginia. He earned a BA from Emory & Henry College and an MFA from the University of Virginia. In his work, Chitwood explores the Appalachian landscape of his youth and frequently draws on colloquial speech and themes. His many collections of poetry include Salt Works (1992), Whet (1995), The Weave Room (1998), Gospel Road Going (2002), which won the Roanoke-Chowan . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Nature, Weather

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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