Suddenly Seeing in Absent Sandstone How It Will Be
Mostly time is slow about amputating
our lives from us. Our fifteen-year-old sits
at the table where she was four, debating
how many weeks in our hometown will fit
into her summer, and we let her win.
My young body and your young body are gone.
Years, we don’t see some people we call friends.
Our college has buildings where there was lawn.
Today though, back here without you, I walked
the island shore path out to the spire
on which we sat with our pizza slices. Our rock.
Jetty in the waves. Perch over flat water.
Where the iced brush parted, out past the snow,
I saw what some storm had done.
Copyright © 2018 by Jonathan Johnson
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission
Jonathan Johnson’s fourth book of poems, May Is an Island, will be published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2018. He migrates between his hometown of Marquette, Michigan, his ancestral glen in the Scottish Highlands, and Eastern Washington University, where he is a professor in the MFA program.
Founded in 1892 by the teacher and critic William Peterfield Trent, the Sewanee Review is the longest-running literary quarterly in America. The SR has published many of the twentieth century’s great writers, including T. S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Wallace Stevens, Saul Bellow, Katherine Anne Porter, Marianne Moore, Seamus Heaney, Hannah Arendt, and Ezra Pound. The Review has a long tradition of cultivating emerging talent, from excerpts of Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Connor’s first novels to the early poetry of Robert Penn Warren, Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, and Christian Wiman. “Whatever the new literature turns out to be,” wrote editor Allen Tate in 1944, “ it will be the privilege of the Sewanee Review to print its share of it, to comment on it, and to try to understand it.” The mission remains unchanged.