Richard Foerster

Like a Birch Tree Fallen in Snow

There is no absence
beyond this white
I’ve not already dreamt,
no further blank, and yet

this dawn, the blinded
panes parted like lids
crusted with sleep
and I woke as if within

wind-drift snow,
uprooted, erased,
a vapor of my memory
of a tree and the space

it relinquished in the night.
How is it we can stand resolute
one moment, balanced,
as if on the railing of a bridge,

and, in the next, find ourselves
easing into icy unforgiving
air? The muffled thud
of reality comes fast and clear.

It’s never what we have learned
to expect. The snow blanketing
the trunk and shattered limbs
makes nothing disappear.

Richard Foerster’s other recent work can be found online at Quiddity, The Citron Review, The American Journal of Poetry, and One,  and in the current issues of the print journals Tar River Poetry, Frost Meadow Review (13 poems and an interview), and Café Review (along with a review of Boy on a Doorstep: New and Selected Poems, which was published by Tiger Bark Press last spring). Honors over the decades include the “Discovery”/The Nation Award, Poetry’s Bess Hokin Prize, a Maine Arts Commission Fellowship, the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship, and two NEA Poetry Fellowships.

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