Jorie Graham





The Geese

Today as I hang out the wash I see them again, a code  
as urgent as elegant,  
tapering with goals.  
For days they have been crossing. We live beneath these geese

as if beneath the passage of time, or a most perfect heading.   
Sometimes I fear their relevance.  
Closest at hand,  
between the lines,

the spiders imitate the paths the geese won't stray from,   
imitate them endlessly to no avail:  
things will not remain connected,  
will not heal,

and the world thickens with texture instead of history,   
texture instead of place.  
Yet the small fear of the spiders  
binds and binds

the pins to the lines, the lines to the eaves, to the pincushion bush,   
as if, at any time, things could fall further apart 
and nothing could help them  
recover their meaning. And if these spiders had their way,

chainlink over the visible world,  
would we be in or out? I turn to go back in. 
There is a feeling the body gives the mind  
of having missed something, a bedrock poverty, like falling

without the sense that you are passing through one world,   
that you could reach another  
anytime. Instead the real  
is crossing you,
your body an arrival  
you know is false but can't outrun. And somewhere in between   
these geese forever entering and  
these spiders turning back,

this astonishing delay, the everyday, takes place.