I Had Just Hung Up from Talking to You

By Jessica Greenbaum Jessica Greenbaum
I had just hung up from talking to you
and we had been so immersed in the difficulty
you were facing, and forgive me,
I was thinking that as long as we kept talking,
you in your car in the parking lot of the boys’ school
as the afternoon deepened into early evening,
and me in the study, all the books around
that had been sources of beauty to us,
as long as we stayed in the conversation
padded with history like the floor of the pine forest,
as long as I thought out loud, made a joke
at my own expense, you would be harbored in that exchange,
but the boys were leaving the track
and after we hung up I looked out the window
to see the top of the bare January trees spotlit to silvery red,
massive but made from the thinnest
twigs at the ends of the branches at the ends of the limbs
they were waving and shining in a light
like no other and left only to them.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2012).

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This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

July/August 2012
 Jessica  Greenbaum

Biography

Jessica Greenbaum’s first book, Inventing Difficulty (Silverfish Review Press, 1998), won the Gerald Cable Prize. Her second book, The Two Yvonnes (2012), was chosen by Paul Muldoon for Princeton’s Series of Contemporary Poets. She is the poetry editor for upstreet and lives in Brooklyn. She received a 2014 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Sorrow & Grieving, The Mind, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Nature, Winter

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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