Tom Crawford

LOVE HAS BIG TEETH | Route 140, Sixty Miles North of Winnemucca
November 29, 2015 Crawford Tom


for Donald Hall


You, in New Hampshire,

old now, alone, on your grandfather’s farm,

gazing out the window at the sagging barn,

bird watching. I’m in Maine right now,

tasting still, the lobster roll

I ate yesterday in Belfast

with that also to-die-for coleslaw.

It’s that moment, never long enough,

when I can forget every bad thing

I’ve done in the name of love.

Your wife, twenty years dead,

a fine poet. I too love her work.

About needing testosterone

to write poetry, so you don’t,

well, obviously, I’m not there yet,

the little sloop in the harbor says,

slopping about on its anchor chain

while I eat out the white meat

from the red pincher

and imagine myself on the small bed,

forward in the boat, lifting and falling.

Outside, through the porthole,

I’m watching two black cormorants

quarrel over a piling

that has room for only one.



Route 140, Sixty Miles North of Winnemucca


I take the cut off

on to its narrow, back road.

The sign warns: No Services

for One Hundred Miles. Lucky me.

God doesn’t mind, I think,

me calling him a donkey,

given the warm, brown eyes of the one

beside the road on Denio Summit,

elevation 4,845 feet. Nor was he

in a hurry either to be somewhere else.

How wonderful the miner

in me, long dead—the shovel,

the pick, discarded.

I came here to be alone.

Nothing to want anymore,

but the quiet,

the donkey’s long gaze.

Up here every stone you pick up

is gold.

Tom Crawford’s six previous collections of poems include Caging the Robin The Names of Birds, star-reviewed in BookListThe Temple on Monday, recipient of the Foreword Book of the Year,  , which won the Oregon Book Award for Poetry. He has received the Pushcart Prize, the Hazel Hall Award for Poetry, and Hubbub Awards. His poems have been widely published in journals such as ChelseaColumbia Poetry ReviewNew York Quarterly, and many others.