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Glorify Our Passage

Text of Poem

It waits on the hill
where time lies dormant,
seasons move like the shadow
of a bird, the frost,
with vandal’s hand, topples the stones
as if an earthward pull lay hold
of the monuments we build
to the fields of dust.
By the fence a tree reveals the wisdom
of leaves as autumn harvests its crop
and spring unveils green buds. We owe
ourselves to the earth where all debts
are paid and grief wastes its tears
over the bed we come to lie in.
Once on a summer day I came to mow
the weeds and I heard behind me the
lisp of another scythe shaped from the
mind’s picture book. And all that
August day a mourning dove kept me
company with its soft song and I
spared the stems that flowered as
a greeting the roots had
sent me. For the names on the headstones
spoke in tongues my ear remembers,
and in the flower petals I read
a hail and farewell from old neighbors,
a wave of the hand to join them.

First Line
It waits on the hill
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
Planting Red Geraniums: Discovered Poems of James Hearst. Final Thursday Press, 2017. 27.
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Permission to reproduce work from the James Hearst Papers has been granted by the Special Collections Department of the University of Iowa Libraries.

Poetic Form