Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

A Breath of Wind



In the chronicle of the overlooked
try to register again
this big life-giving breath
that never stops gathering light
and spreading it in every direction.
Cloud comes, goes, hauling
its grave weight, letting its
particle-drench tend everything
and be a downhill quickness
baring rocks so they glitter, feeding
tall, blood-letting, blue-headed
thistles, making thin green rushes
glisten in the wind
that here on the very edge of things
can’t let you be—so you may go
about and about only, squinting
into what’s there and isn’t there, all appetite
for any slow explosion of
unearned felicity.  Meanwhile
this morning’s hare
takes the disheveled garden
in his stride and stops, not a bother on him,
to sniff then delicately nibble
the lettuce leaves that yesterday
the wind and draggle-sheets of rain
were shaking, and that
last night from a scoured sky
all the firefolk sitting in the air
gazed intently down on.  And now
in its spaciousness and light
this local wind’s all exhalation—
gusting southeast, northeast, no telling
what a half-god of earth and air will do—
pushing, rushing, hushing
towards its sole rest, the silence it settles in
along mute grass blades, stilled sycamore leaves,
even among these dead in shaken bundles
at your shut front door,
where it will get its breath back
to bear itself off in a flurry-hurry
and flow away from where you stand
feeling again the way it came unbidden,
so you would close your eyes
a moment and be in it,
though you’ll open them again
under the starless mantle of darkness,
night-walking home alone after midnight
and knowing the gale’s full brunt and buffet
with rain in its teeth, its burly
unavailing out-breath like a last love-gasp
through the pine grove and no holding it.

Eamon Grennan‘s most recent collection is Out of Sight: New & Selected Poems.