— Missouri Breaks
Is it some turn of wind
that funnels them all down at once, or
is it their own voices netting
to bring them in — the roll and churr
of hundreds searing through river light and cliff dust, each to its precise mud nest on the face — none of our own isolate groping, wishing need could be sent so unerringly to solace. But this silk-skein flashing is like heaven brought down: not to meet ground or water — to enter the riven earth and disappear.
Reprinted from Torn Sky, Sarabande Books, 2004, by permission of the poet. Copyright (c) 2004 by Debra Nystrom, an associate professor of English at the University of Virginia. This weekly column is supported by the Poetry Foundation, the Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.