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by Chard deNiord

What I am is all that I can carry. —Deborah Digges

You wrote on the ground and window
panes. Lay down by skeps, tors
and ricks to tell the bees, try on death,
smell the deep. Followed your boys
to read the tags, write your “Broom.”  
Oh mistro-elemental woman who heard
the silence of your beloved across
the vast of first and second heaven,
you carried yourself as far as you could
to the swinging bar, then swung on it
into the air now wind enough above
the fields of head high hay to carry you off.
Rose as you fell into sky, which is also
the Earth without you in it: this blue,
blue atmosphere of your rough music
still playing beyond birdsong or vision.

(Deborah Digges, February 6, 1950–April 10, 2009)


Chard deNiord is the author of three books of poetry: Night Mowing (The University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005), Sharp Golden Thorn  (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003), and Asleep in the Fire (University of Alabama Press, 1990). Next spring his new book of poems, The Double Truth, is due out from The University of Pittsburgh Press, as is his book of interviews with senior American poets, Sad Friends, Drowned Lovers, Stapled Songs from Marick Press. He is associate professor of English at Providence College and lives in Putney, Vermont. (4/2010)

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