To a Meadowlark 

To a Meadowlark 


For Robert Fenz, 1969-2020

Pennies in a stream,
Falling leaves, the sycamore,
Moonlight in Vermont.

Evening summer breeze,
Warbling of a meadowlark,
Moonlight in Vermont.
—“Moonlight in Vermont,” John Blackburn and Karl Suessdorf


Wu Laoshi and her husband drove nine hours,
Through bridges and hills,
Vast provinces of China, till they arrived;
To grace the dead, Qingming
To sweep the tombs, kneeling
Burning joss…

As they did,
I learned you had passed.
In your sleep, in August.
Fitting time for an augur
A heart so prescient
He himself could not withstand. 

I ask my soul, “Take care of this, right now!”
But it’s silent.
It acts of its own accord:
An echo gasp,
From stupid-little-mundane things
That cry you out. 

And in how—
We jollied about Vermont,
Its song of moonlight.
How then should you pass on,
There, at night?

Shortly before, we spoke.
I was electric, You were elliptical.
I teetered, You said—
You know you can be anything you want?
It’s the dreaming that’s the trick”

I dreamed last night
A meadowlark,
Somewhere in Vermont,
Sung just like you.

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