The Absence of Unnecessary Hurting
This is the press of the earth. One star hanging
there, honking like a goose. The lake
a smudge of black juice, the hill a draped
pancake. Frogs singing, sharp
Night! Clean air, clear water, five
baby mink in a pile, snoring.
Overwhelm can be dug from sludge
below dock, on either side fruits slung
over branches, glued to their seeds.
Here in the slurry live the things
I consider, here in the hills. What do people
think of? What do they think of me
in my carings?
Ripples lunch on each other, heavenly
Body lights flicker, too cool for moths.
I don't want to hurt things.
The fine brown eye of an animal,
the broad slick leaf of a wing.
I'd like to be gentle here.
I want to be worthy of you, lovely
ground, bury my face in your tired
Used by permission.
From Kind (Post Traumatic Press 2013)
Gretchen Primack's poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, FIELD, Antioch Review, Ploughshares, and other journals. She's the author of two poetry collections, Kind (Post-Traumatic Press 2013) and the forthcoming Doris' Red Spaces (Mayapple 2014), and a chapbook, The Slow Creaking of Planets (Finishing Line 2007).
Primack has worked as a union organizer, working women's advocate, and prison educator. Also an advocate for non-human animals, she co-wrote The Lucky Ones: My Passionate Fight for Farm Animals (Penguin Avery 2012) with Jenny Brown. She lives in Hurley, NY.
Please feel free to forward Split This Rock Poem of the Week widely. We just ask you to include all of the information in this email, including this request. Thanks!
If you are interested in reading past poems of the week, feel free to visit the blog archive.