Once, long before swallows
ever thought to live in barns,
before crickets chirped on hearths,
was a field of glacial flowers, their bright faces
caught forever like little bog men,
but the pond water, clear,
totally clear, pristine, not
murky like the bog, and their
dear flower faces shone mercilessly,
day and night.
People were born curled over
like seedlings, frail figures bent,
flower-shaped, bowed over as if
the constant weight of something large
cupped them, until they, too,
looked frigid like the flowers.
How determined flowers can be,
their faces fixed like porcelain,
like little mourning things, encapsulated
forever in the frozen spring.
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"Margo Stever listens to every sound, every edge of word that she uses here, so as to 'get said what must be said' in an otherwise brutal world. She is an impeccable poet, and this book proves it absolutely."
-- Robert Creeley
"Unfolding in a series of surprising metaphors and startling linkages, [Margo Stever's] lyrics move us from the ordinary into a realm of imagination and language whose only name is poetry." -- Billy Collins
"This collection of poems includes horses and oceans, a lost life of orchards and fields, the ghost of a dominant mother, a dead father, five siblings, and numerous half-suppressed fears for the poet's own children. For this wonderful first book, the natural world plays a major role -- sometimes harsh, sometimes lyrical, but always beautiful." -- Maxine Kumin
"Stever is an elegist, and there aren't many of them left this late in history. An elegist isn'?t just an unpaid mourner, or a deliverer of sermons, but a poet seeking redemption in a wide downdraft of negation. Loss is a dark field where images appear with supernatural naturalness. It's what Buddhists say of a world limned against the void . . . The image of the title poem perfectly expresses the self-sustaining paradox of loss and preservation that makes this book so emotionally overwhelming." -- Rain Taxi Review