1. Home
  2. Poetry Magazine
  3. Poems
  4. Explaining It by William Johnson
Explaining It

Related Poem Content Details

In the woods off Ivory, just out of car-shot
it’s not enough to say a mouse lies snug

in a crib of roots, its fur sleek as babyskin,
Lord the body warm. Too often a name

subverts the pang it answers for, inwit of   
heart-light, the epiphanic clutch. I mean

do you sense with more than a chill the tiny
homely lumpliness of it there in the dirt

as you orphan the dim of a cold October
sun, no wound I can find anywhere

on its, your, my small soft bodykins—yikes
its left ear (the inner skin pink

delicate svelte) twitches a little
and I have this before thought tricks it

whimsically lovely wink of the soul as
mouse-force taking wing until the O-no

letdown when a yellow jacket backs out,
O sweetmeat funk and dandle of the brain

asputter as it launches over frost-curled leaves
and dollarweed seed strewn on the path

like medallions glimpsed the second we—
I mean all of us cold in the twilight—fly.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2008)
  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine. Search the whole site

Explaining It

Related Poem Content Details

  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine. Search the whole site

Other Information