Backyard Georgics

By Lance Larsen b. 1961 Lance Larsen
It takes a calendar one damp day to declare fall,
weeks of dying mums to second the motion.

                               *     *     *

Gone the homeland, gone the father, nothing left
but invisible north to magnetize your doubts.

                               *     *     *

Not eulogies or hearses but the sandwiches after,
estranged cousins chewing under one umbrella.

                               *     *     *

One clock for errands, one for midnight
trysts, though neither will hurry a slow train.

                               *     *     *

Prairie is not the floor nor sky the coffered ceiling.
Even a scarecrow is wise beyond its straw.

                               *     *     *

Look down: a river of grass. Look up: a velvet lost
and found. Look inside: no straws to drink that dusk.

                               *     *     *

A woman’s watch thieved by a jay—ah, to be lifted
like that, to be carried like time across lapping waves.

Source: Poetry (November 2010).


This poem originally appeared in the November 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

November 2010
 Lance  Larsen


Lance Larsen’s most recent book is Backyard Alchemy (University of Tampa Press, 2009). He teaches at Brigham Young University.

Continue reading this biography

Poems by Lance Larsen

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Sorrow & Grieving

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Poetic Terms Couplet, Free Verse

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.