La Porte

By Rachel Jamison Webster
In the seam between day and night, wind
                   ruts the dirt road and   
ruffles the milky way of dandelions.

The young among them are greasy gold and urgent,
                   while the old are balanced   
between growth and that burst past   

growing—annihilation, culmination   
                   of a beginning each has always been   
ending toward, admitting more and more   

space, until what's left is   
                   beyond color, a bleary truss
of matter and air. Shocked   

accomplice of the rounding light,   
                   how you tremble in the stretch   
of your death, which is like all deaths,   

geometric with seed. Wind-swimmer,
                   eye-floater, white nightgowned grandmother   
dancing your platelets on the head of this pin,

can you show me how to wish,   
                   how to gather and scatter   
this single hooped breath?

Source: Poetry (January 2008).


This poem originally appeared in the January 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2008
 Rachel Jamison Webster


Rachel Jamison Webster lives in Chicago and teaches poetry at Northwestern University where she is an artist-in-residence. She edits the online anthology of international poetry, UniVerse. For several years, she designed and taught writing workshops for city kids, and with them, she edited two anthologies of writing by young Chicagoans, Alchemy (2001) and Paper Atrium (2004). She earned her MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poems by Rachel Jamison Webster

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Time & Brevity, Nature, Trees & Flowers

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

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.