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  April 2020
volume 17 number 1
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Martin Willitts Jr April 2020
   

 

bio


nbsp;   Martin Willitts Jr has 24 chapbooks including the winner of the Turtle Island Quarterly Editor’s Choice Award, The Wire Fence Holding Back the World (Flowstone Press, 2017), plus 16 full-length collections including the Blue Light Award 2019 winner “The Temporary World”. His recent book is

   

 

Absence Comes for Everything

Absence comes, takes us all away.
It need not be swift, or sure, or even-handed,
or practical like a hawk, screech owl, wolf.
It need not be a comet streaking,
spelling out our names in its ice trail
or close silently like a book.
It need not rattle like metal
where every loose part jiggles and jolts.
The absence does not tremble elm leaves
in a teasing wind.
It need not be any combination of events.

I had to put down some dying animals. I found
the results of a fox having shaken a chicken’s neck.
One spring, the crops took early frost,
and everything went limp.

My grandfather when he folded into a chair,
too exhausted to know how tired he was, how late
the evening is when he released. My grandmother
never rescued the pie before it blackened.
For my father, it was a year of moaning, wishing
it was over, the final miles, painful.

The absence came to my mother
as a joy suggesting somewhere was better.
The absence comes for everything.

copyright 2020 Martin Willitts Jr