Susan Rich

To the New Journal

after W. S. Merwin

  Let’s just listen—  


before the spent words and the hidden nests

of sentences begin, before the musical count


of vowels and consonants, the ink


not yet slippery with wild grief

or souped-up grandeur.


I wish to arrange you—


with a few half-formed couplets—

inquiries without answers.


But what can we do? These mountains are still


young and rising, I write. Yet,

even the fields call to an orchestra of stars.


Even the birds sing to-do lists.


Copyright © 2018 Susan Rich. Used with permission of the author.

This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Summer 2018.