They were sitting at their tables on the lawn
when suddenly I saw them all
in a line approaching a door that opened
on a field that was also a lawn.
I was in awe of the guests, the way
they sat in the shadow of the door
and sipped their drinks, the way
they laughed and cried. I watched
a Cessna fade into the sky
as something that was there for a while
in the form of pure idea, as something
that would burn one day like a straw,
but hummed for now in lieu of prayer
then disappeared into a cloud.
I saw the endless line of happy guests
move along, move along,
forgetting everything as they passed
beneath a high dark beam
into a field that was also a void.
Chard deNiord is the author of three books of poetry, Asleep in the Fire (University of Alabama Press, 1990), Sharp Golden Thorn (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003), and Night Mowing (The University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005). He is associate professor of English at Providence College and directs the low-residency MFA program in poetry at New England College. (3/2006)