be careful


i must be careful about such things as these.

the thin-grained oak.    the quiet grizzlies scared

into the hills by the constant tracks squeezing

in behind them closer in the snow.    the snared

rigidity of the winter lake.    deer after deer

crossing on the spines of fish who look up and stare

with their eyes pressed to the ice.   in a sleep.  hearing

the thin taps leading away to collapse like the bear

in the high quiet.   i must be careful not to shake

anything in too wild an elation.    not to jar

the fragile mountains against the paper far-

ness.   nor avalanche the fog or the eagle from the air.

of the gentle wilderness i must set the precarious

words.   like rocks.   without one snowcapped mistake.


Ed Robertson (USA, 1936 – )


Source of the poem:

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