Her cart like a dugout canoe.
Had been an oak trunk.
Cut young. Fire-scoured.
What was bark what was heartwood : P u r e C h a r - H o l e
Adze-hacked and gouged.
Ever after (never not) wheeling hollow there behind her.
Up the hill toward Bennett Yard; down through Eight-Mile,
C o m e s C l a r y b y h e r e n o w
Body bent past bent. Intent upon horizon and carry.
Her null eye long since gone isinglassy, opal.
—The potent (brimming, fluent) one looks brown.
C o u r s e s C l a r y s u r e a s b a y o u t h r o u g h h e r e n o w
Bearing (and borne ahead by) hull and hold behind her.
Plies the dark.
Whole nights most nights along the overpass over Accabee.
C r o s s e s C l a r y b l e s s h e r b a r r o w u p t h e r e n o w
Pausing and voweling there— the place where the girl fell.
Comes her cart like a whole-note held.
Source: Poetry (September 2008).
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This poem originally appeared in the September 2008 issue of Poetry magazine