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Four Way Books
Winter Light
Gary Duehr

ISBN: 1-884800-20-3
paper, 63 pages, $12.95

All morning, in your absence, I kept
Talking to you as if from sleep.
Couldn’t you hear the silent
Phone rings, didn’t you find an unsent
Envelope stained with mud? I know my fate

Is to sit across from silence at
A table, the way a man alone will quietly sip
His spoonfuls of soup.
Last night I dreamt a child at the top of a ladder
Made a formless cry into the void. Did I tell you I saw sunlight gesture
Against the brick of a building, the traffic stalled
At an endless red? Or that I read lawyers were called
For each piece of evidence

To a separate hearing? In an absence
Of mercy, the House balanced cut with cut.
The sun quit
Halfway up then crawled back down again.

Ashamed, a chambermaid pulled a gauze curtain
Across a window in the Ritz, just as
Her life in the claws of a big black crow flew past.