Go now to the silence. It has longed for you
as a mother longs for her ransomed child.

Go, and take off your shoes, your gloves,
weave from your shadow and ache

a rough blanket. Lie down. Your body
knows itself everywhere now,

just as a deep sky knows each river and cliff,
each still meadow lazily dotted with goats.

Take off your watch cap. Allow wind
to lift it away like a raveled nest and mingle your hair

with coarser, more flammable grasses, rattling
toward barest winter. Allow sleep. Allow gratitude.

Allow the essential and hesitant leave-taking.
Now may the soft-eyed wolves approach

with the same moon tucked in their hearts
and their hungers ordained.

Now like a sprig of thistles a schoolgirl picked,
may you be forgotten.

And your old name join its fellow rustlings,
and you always be loved.




Frannie Lindsay‘s fifth volume of poetry is If Mercy (The Word Works, 2016). She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Her work has appeared inThe Atlantic Monthly, The American Poetry ReviewThe Yale ReviewField, CrazyhorseHunger Mountain, Salamander, and Best American Poetry 2014. She is at work on her sixth collection. She is a classical pianist.

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