Nobody knew we were in there, hidden
in the hay, the hot choking dustcolliding then subsiding in the beams
of sunlight through the barn walls,the rough door chain-locked, the hay
broken and scattered belowthe small window we’d squeezed through,
Quick, quick, in case someone saw.We’d climb the rough ladder to the loft
to jump into the hay, again, again,and then we’d lie hidden, whispering
what would happen to our lives, the boyswhose tongues would find us, the nights
we’d steal from sleep to come hereto meet them, sliding in through the dark
to the hay’s wide bed. Nothinglike that ever happened. But say it did.
Say the sweet nights came, we married rightout of school and stayed there all our lives.
The orchard would still have been sold,the barn torn down, the subdivision built—
the longing still with us, all the same.
Copyright © 2018 by Lynne Knight
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission
Lynne Knight is the author of five poetry chapbooks and five full-length poetry collections, the most recent of which, The Persistence of Longing, was published by Terrapin Books. Her awards and honors include publication in Best American Poetry, the Prix de l’Alliance Française 2006, a Poetry Society of America Lucille Medwick Memorial Award, the 2009 Rattle Poetry Prize, and an NEA grant. I Know, her translation with the author Ito Naga of his Je sais, appeared from Sixteen Rivers Press in 2013.
“Lynne Knight’s mindful, lyrical book reads like a heart-and-soul video, Season One. Her poetry thrills and intrigues, warns and shares, always in language that catches.”
“The Language of Forgetting is inspired by a fascination with the accumulated secrets lying under the many stories of a lived life…. This is thriving, memorable poetry. “