Mine is sapling-young. Mine is sourced from the gravity of others—indirect as the sun from car window to concrete.

I followed the PACK into territory dark, into the Eugene Field Branch of my new library.

The Human Chain.

The book, and his life, dims into these lines:

As the memorable bottoms out
Into the irretrievable,
It’s not that I can’t image still
That slight untoward rupture and world-tilt
As a wind freshened and the anchor weighed.

I’ll share only that this light volume was consumed in two gulps; softened to an oat’ish mash by SH’s dedication to the balanced line and stanza, to trim word (‘keel,’ ‘oxter-sweat,’ ‘benweed,’ ‘bow’), and full sentence.

The moment of his passing for me was asweat in the front-seat of a green car—baked charcoal roads; a bag of too-expensive berries condensing, wetting the passenger seat as a child long-sat.

The crickle of the radio—an unknowable voice read Death of a Naturalist‘s opening lines. I couldn’t hear him then—not through her—not until I’d packed the book, packed the truck, unpacked the truck, the book, the berries and drank the new city’s tap water by a new-old lamp.

Then the crickle of pages—I found him and left him and sitting now, feet asleep, think of the universe in his fervent stare into the rat hole:

[. . . ] you know a bit

[. . .]

Because you’ve laid your cheek
Against the rush clump
And known soft stone to break
On the quarry floor