Rebecca Foust
| poetry


In your dream of what never happened

a boy turns away from your grief,

and each month’s empty womb tolls a compline

to spring. Once you knew time

as a starving, sumptuous waste

that felt better than pomegranates

ever could taste. Now, despair

keen as a blade drawn again and again

in water run over a stone, and so bright

it might be the fierce start of joy.

You see now what can’t be seen by the young

—the light cast by your own midnight,

mudflats licked to a gleam by the neap tide,

Gawain hewn but still the tale’s hero,

the rood bleeding out into bloom—and you

learn to love the world as it is: gorgeous

in its mortal wound.

Rebecca Foust’s books include Paradise Drive, reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement. Recent recognitions include the Cavafy Prize, the James Hearst Poetry Prize, the Lascaux Flash Fiction Prize and the ALR Fiction Prize.

Waiting for My Mother to Drive Me to School, I Opened the Glove Compartment