The 2River View 25.1 (Fall 2020)

Liane Tyrrel

The Book of Other Words

He put his head in on a Monday and it was downy and upright
although I’m not convinced he knew that. His head, the day of the week,
any of it.

That’s when I remembered the book called other words. Can you hear it?
Under what circumstance does it ring, circle round, move from shadow
to light or primrose to garden? You remember

the cardinal that flew to the hemlock branch, red against green, the bluebird
song like it was coming from the pear tree. You can wake up at 3:30
straining to hear.

If you’ve never waited for the first birdsong of the morning, do we know each other?

And somewhere out there is the turkey and her pullets in the long grass,
six left of the dozen. I seem to be writing the same poem over and over.

I hear more birds now but no cars, no people,
and the book of other words keeps coming to me if I listen.

What I Will Miss

The smell of this pond, the dull shape of clouds,
just the existence of ponds and air. The plastic paddle even,
the pop and ripple of a fish and the toad croak, how smooth
the water is, smooth like the breath. Do you think of what you will miss
as you drift along? The black fish U-turn, how do we deserve that?
Whether we keep loving or not?

The sun is shining brighter now, and my son says the wind keeps shifting.
I love how dark the water is, is not blue but muck black, deep sediment green
or a compound expression of brown, because pond water is not blue, is not
what I’m doing as I drift, writing, is not another way of loving this world.

The fish can hear us talking, he says, as he casts,
especially with no wind now and under the tall white pines, damp
and darker with flashes of goldfinch on the cool end of the pond
in the cool part of the day, I still feel the same joy in breathing. I see my son
cast his line one more time in the distance. The water is inky now,
the sun is low, it’s almost time to go.

Liane Tyrrel holds a BFA in Visual Art. She is an artist, poet, textile designer, and tarot reader. She lives in rural New Hampshire.

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