Robert Creeley: Four Days in Vermont
Four Days in Vermont

Window's tree trunk's predominant face
a single eye-leveled hole where limb's torn off
another larger contorts to swell growing in around
imploding wound beside a clutch of thin twigs
hold to one two three four five six dry twisted
yellowish brown leaves flat against the other
gray trees in back stick upright then the glimpse
of lighter still grayish sky behind the close
welted solid large trunk with clumps of gray-green
lichen seen in boxed glass squared window back
of two shaded lamps on brown chiffonier between
two beds echo in mirror on far wall of small room.

(for Maggie)

Most, death left a hole
a place where she'd been
An emptiness stays
no matter what or who
No law of account not
There but for the
grace of God go I
Pain simply of want
last empty goodbye
Put hand on her head
good dog, good dog
feel her gone.
Tree adamant looks in
its own skin mottled with growths
its stubborn limbs
stick upright parallel
wanting to begin again
looking for sun in the sky
for a warmer wind
to walk off pull up
roots and move
to Boston be a table
a chair a house
a use a final fire.
What is truth firm (as a tree)
Your faith your trust your loyalty
Agrees with the facts makes
world consistent plights a troth
is friendly sits in the common term
All down the years all seasons all sounds
all persons saying things conforms confirms
Contrasts with "war equals confusion" (worse)
But Dichtung und Wahrheit? "Wahr-" is
very ("Verily I say unto you...") A compact now
Tree lights with the morning though truth be an oak
This is a maple, is a tree, as a very truth firm.
Do I rootless shift
call on the phone
daughter's warm voice
her mother's clear place
Is there wonder here
has it all gone inside
myself become subject
weather surrounds
Do I dare go out
be myself specific
be as the tree
seems to look in.
Breeze at the window
lifts the light curtains
Through the dark a light
across the faint space
Warmth out of season
fresh wash of ground
out there beyond
sits here waiting
For whatever time comes
herein welcome
Wants still
truth of the matter.
Neighbor's light's still on
outside above stoop
Sky's patchy breaks
of cloud and light
Around is a valley
over the hill
to the wide flat river
the low mountains secure
Who comes here with you
sits down in the room
What have you left
what's now to do.
Soon going day wanders on
and still tree's out there waiting
patient in time like a river and
truth a simple apple reddened
by frost and sun is found
where one had left it in time's company
No one's absent in mind None gone
Tell me the truth I want to say
Tell me all you know Will we live
or die As if the world were apart
and whatever tree seen were only here apparent
Answers, live and die. Believe.