By Joanna Klink Joanna Klink
Lately, too much disturbed, you stay trailing in me
and I believe you. How could I not feel
you were misspent, there by books stacked clean on glass,
or outside the snow arriving as I am still arriving.
If the explanations amount to something, I will tell you.
It is enough, you say, that surfaces grow so distant.
Maybe you darken, already too much changed,
maybe in your house you would be content where
no incident emerges, but for smoke or glass or air,
such things held simply to be voiceless.
And if you mean me, I believe you.
Or if you should darken, this inwardness would be misspent,
and flinching I might pause, and add to these meager
incidents the words. Some books
should stay formal on the shelves.
So surely I heard you, in your complication aware,
snow holding where it might weightless rest,
and should you fold into me—trackless, misspent,
too much arranged—I might believe you
but swiftly shut, lines of smoke rising through snow,
here where it seems no good word emerges.
Though it is cold, I am aware such reluctance
could lose these blinking hours to simple safety.
Here is an inwardless purpose.
In these hours when snow shuts, it may be we empty,
amounting to something. How could I not
wait for those few words, which we might enter.

Joanna Klink, “Apology” from Circadian. Copyright © 2007 by Joanna Klink. Reprinted by permission of Penguin, a division of Penguin Group (USA), LLC.

Source: Circadian (Penguin Books, 2007)

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Poet Joanna Klink

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Living, Life Choices, Relationships, Nature, Weather, Winter

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 Joanna  Klink


Joanna Klink earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a PhD from the Johns Hopkins University. Her collections of poetry include They Are Sleeping (2000), Circadian (2007), and Raptus (2010). Her work has been included in numerous anthologies, including The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry (2011). Of her work, Klink has said: “In poems I am trying to find my bearings through a world that at times feels . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Life Choices, Relationships, Nature, Weather, Winter

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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