John Skoyles

The List
November 10, 2014 Skoyles John

The List


Branches shiver as if a wand

transformed them

into wands themselves,

the way our friends

become poplars

planted in their memory—

Steven Clover, Lon Scott,

Franco Palumbo,

jeweler, banker, chef.

There’s no rest from the list

that grows each morning

as we face the sun

with a cool look

like we can handle

the digging and burying,

that we don’t see every limb

on every tree

as a wing cut from flight.

John Skoyles’ most recent book is Yes and No (Carnegie-Mellon, 2021).  He is the poetry editor of Ploughshares.