And on the Third Day

By Andrew Allport Andrew Allport
We called off the search,
and the weary climbed down from the glacier
with their dogs exhausted in the spring sun
too tired to eat the ice in their paws.
 
We had called his name, mostly for show,
a ritual that kept us moving: in the high bowls,
their stunted pines predating the flood,
in the steep ravines sliding loose with scree,
loudly at first, then speaking it to each other
then spelling it out on forms required by law.
 
It is a form of praying, he claimed, to walk
out to the very edge of your life. Every time
the reply comes clear as a stone
at our thin crowns. It misses
almost every time, humming as it goes.

Andrew Allport, “And on the Third Day” from The Body of Space in the Shape of the Human. Copyright © 2012 by Andrew Allport. Reprinted by permission of New Issues Press.

Source: The Body of Space in the Shape of the Human (New Issues Press, 2012)

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Poet Andrew Allport

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Living, Death, Life Choices, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Social Commentaries, Town & Country Life

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Biography

Andrew Allport is the author of the book the body | of space | in the shape of the human (New Issues Press, 2012) and the chapbook The Ice Ship & Other Vessels (Proem Press, 2008). He holds a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California, and his poems and essays appear widely. The poem “An Unknown Shore” first appeared in ZYZZYVA and was later reprinted in Best New Poets 2006. Its first three . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Life Choices, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Social Commentaries, Town & Country Life

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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