Donald Revell

The Irretrievable
May 23, 2020 Revell Donald

Second shelf on the right. You’ll
Never find it. Given
Our father’s cold centennial—
When the snow was too big to fall
But hovered in mid-air as though the air
Had opened white lips
Meaning to speak to us, to say
Something about immortality and correction—
We ought to abandon the search.
Or should I say “the seeking”?
Shelving the town, four cliffs
Evangelize these misgivings.
Second on the right is what became
Of a drunkard obsessed with
Chapter 14 in the Gospel of John.
It’s a Gospel secretly given
To hawks, not to eagles.
Topography emboldens love when hawks
Shatter their prey mid-air out of pure spite.
Mansions of devastation scatter themselves
Into big snow. Our father’s
Cold centennial had a further child,
Hidden from us. In the days ahead she
Will ease us—little predator, little ice.

Donald Revell is the author of 14 collections of poetry, most recently of Drought-Adapted Vine (2015) and Tantivy (2012), both from Alice James Books. He is Professor of English at the University of Nevada– Las Vegas & Black Mountain Institute.