At Thomas Merton’s Grave

By Spencer Reece b. 1963 Spencer Reece
We can never be with loss too long.
Behind the warped door that sticks,
the wood thrush calls to the monks,
pausing upon the stone crucifix,
singing: “I am marvelous alone!”
Thrash, thrash goes the hayfield:
rows of marrow and bone undone.
The horizon’s flashing fastens tight,
sealing the blue hills with vermilion.
Moss dyes a squirrel’s skull green.
The cemetery expands its borders—
little milky crosses grow like teeth.
How kind time is, altering space
so nothing stays wrong; and light,
more new light, always arrives.

Source: Poetry (September 2009).

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This poem originally appeared in the September 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

September 2009
 Spencer  Reece

Biography

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, and raised in Minneapolis, poet Spencer Reece is the son of a pathologist and a nurse. He earned a BA at Wesleyan University, an MA at the University of York, an MTS at Harvard Divinity School, and an MDiv at Yale Divinity School. He was ordained in the Episcopal Church in 2011. Reece’s debut collection of poetry, The Clerk’s Tale (2004), was chosen for the Bakeless Poetry Prize by Louise Glück and . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Time & Brevity, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Religion, Faith & Doubt

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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