Plocks of rain smite the sidewalk.
Evening tightens its hood, lowers its eyes.
The girl enters, shakes a shower
from heavy hair, turns, and passes
into an inner room. In the park, the pond shivers,
reflecting night into night. The path leads downhill.
Ilexes cringe where brother and sister met under the mass of leaves.
Toads hop out around the fountain pool,
the satyr’s blind marble eyes gleam.
A small body has been misplaced among the leaves, in sand.
Smoke taints the air, smoke and damp ash and the memory of fire
where someone burned an ex-voto of a burned and blistering hand.
Rosanna Warren’s new book of poems, Departure, is due out from Norton in October. Her last, Stained Glass (Norton, 1993), won the Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets, where she is now a chancellor. A professor of Humanities at Boston University, she teaches in the University Professors Program and the English, Creative Writing, and Modern Foreign Languages Departments. (5/03)