Our Respective Landscapes – A Poem by William Doreski

Italiaans landschap met tekenaar

Submitted by William Doreski

The air’s so thick it clings to me
like a load of drowned laundry.
A toad too large to ignore
squats on the deck and stares down
the tree-line retreating in mist.
These days resemble themselves
and nothing else. Horizons
duel with each other, feinting
and slashing without drawing blood.

You’re off to the Delaware beaches
while I’m driving north to plead
my case where Roosevelt summered
with his polio legs aching.
Our respective landscapes will shine
with light reflected from the sea
and illuminate those parts of us
we’ve saved for the next millennium
when the purest spirit will prevail.

You were happy in spring when leaves
became the pages of the books
you had always expected to write.
When summer deployed larger forces
you and the leaves wilted,
sobbing for the luxuriance,
but my awkward stance enabled me
to brace against gusts of thunder
retracting everything we said.

Now the groins of August open
to admit the past we deplore.
The rivers have shrunk in their beds.
The lakes assume the witless looks
of premature death. Only the sea
remains adequate to the task,
so you’re going south and I’m
driving north, and the green flourish
will confirm our ripest gestures
and render us human again.


About the Poet

William Doreski lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He has published three critical studies and several collections of poetry. His work has appeared in many journals. He has taught writing and literature at Emerson, Goddard, Boston University, and Keene State College. His new poetry collection is A Black River, A Dark Fall.

Photo Credit: Italian Landscape with Draughtsman – Jan Dirksz Both

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