Issue 5: Saskia Hamilton


He stands at the edge of the field,

the eastern side in shadow now.

Hedges darken down to the river. In the far

pasture, sheep shine in a small crowd.

All are at rest; and yet nothing has yet

been harvested. The next hour descends,

tomorrow’s work awaited in the muscle.


Next patient, next patient, she says.

They file through from the waiting room.

Penitent? She turns to the attending

and wakes. Beyond the house a car

moves along the bright south road.

She must get dressed. She sits on the bed,

dressed as she is, no longer expected.


Three weeks pass before I feel able

to face it and am sorry for having

said yes. Which of the many thousand books

should I consult? The even type shelters

unrest and labor. Dawn. On the desk,

Morandi’s objects herd together

on a postcard next to a jar of pencils.

Saskia Hamilton is the author of As for Dream and Divide These, and, in the UK, Canal: New and Selected Poems. She is also the editor of The Letters of Robert Lowell and the co-editor of Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. She teaches at Barnard College, Columbia University, and lives in New York