The James Hearst Digital Archive

Home » Poetry » Facts


Text of Poem

I do not read portents,
bars of sunlight through a cloud,
a dog howling at night,
a bridge washed out,
a crow perched on a dead limb—
let some reader of oracles
interpret the signs.
I read on the day’s work sheet
the facts of my existence,
corn to grind, pens to clean,
teach a calf to suck,
wrap roses for winter.
The wind rustles dead stalks,
says nothing I don’t know,
my labor tongued hands assure me
that my sky is not falling
in spite of sickness, weather and age.

First Line
I do not read portents,
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
Chowder Review (Spring 1976) 13.
Complete Poems
Hearst Collections
Word Count
Poetic Form