Fall 1984 • Vol. VI No. 4 Six Poems, Three PoetsOctober 1, 1984 |

The Anniversary of Silence

May 1972, May 1982 Every night for weeks, from the lilac's deep heart,a catbird has softly sung through my sleep,the same one always quietly mewing when I come homeor when I bend beneath it in the garden. This morningI listened until the bulbs I planted seemedlike teardrops and I put them in the ground sadly.Once there was a beauty even in the wreckagemen made of the world. The old quarry lakelay waveless as it freckled under that evening'searly moon, and the low piles of rubble-rockshone along the shore bare in the failing light.Who could blame us as we stepped out of our clothes and dove into the green heart of water? Whocould have seen there, like a dim, floating stonein the still sheen, the ball of cottonmouths simmering?There was nothing we could do. We stood backon the glistening bank and watched as she just drifted.She had found their black secret, so they must have beenon her, mouths blossoming like white flowers,her mouth open as if to call or sing,

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David Baker is the author or editor of many books of poetry and criticism. His latest collection of poems, Whale Fall, was published by W. W. Norton in July 2022. Baker taught at Kenyon 1983–84 and began a long association with The Kenyon Review then, including service for more than twenty-five years as poetry editor. He continues to curate the magazine’s annual environmental feature, “Nature’s Nature.” Baker is emeritus professor of English at Denison University, in Granville, Ohio, where he offers two classes each spring semester.

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May 1972, May 1982 Every night for weeks, from the lilac's deep heart,a catbird has softly sung through my sleep,the same one always quietly mewing when I come homeor when […]

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May 1972, May 1982 Every night for weeks, from the lilac's deep heart,a catbird has softly sung through my sleep,the same one always quietly mewing when I come homeor when […]

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