There is a corridor of light
through the pines, lint from the Spanish Moss.
There is the fallen sun
like ice and the twit of hidden birds
in our common backyards,
snakes threading the needles.

I walk the block past
Krogers with its exhausted wives
hovering over bins of frozen pork.

No one else has shown but their chairs are here.

We sit flanking the projector.
The opening sequence reminds Roger’s
3-year-old daughter
of the wedding cake she ate last week.
It reminds me of my first train in Europe,
the windows, soft implosions
at the entrance of tunnels,
air carving its intricate laces….

The child has fallen asleep with a doll
on the sagging couch.

Here, nothing’s mysterious – books
and newspapers. The first time
for anything is the best,
because there is no memory
linking its regrets to drop
like bracelets in the grass. What

a shabby monstrosity spring
actually is! Remember
that park bench, the frail wisteria…

Rita Dove (1952- ) •

Rita Frances Dove is an American poet and essayist. From 1993 to 1995, she served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She is the first African American to have been appointed since the position was created by an act of Congress in 1986 from the previous “consultant in poetry” position.