Sonnet For the Man Lingering in the Fields One evening in the open & symmetrical fields I watched a man driving the backhoe back toward the shed on the cemetery’s far side. After his wheels disappeared, I stood among the dead—which, by that, I mean no one—& saw how they extended long as light. When I used to go to church, I refused to sing, scared of the sound of my voice in a room nearly too big for god. That almost-night I feared the headstone growing blank as it ages. The plot’s mound was still fresh. The horses, trembling & made orange by light, were led to bed down in hay. When empty, the cemetery welcomed god to sleep between the graves— tired, thirsty, caught in the long distance of the sun. I believe I miss the hard work of doubt. Each day in the field of loss I wanted nothing more than comfort, & finding none, I tried to sing. Sonnet For My Father Gazing at the World After His Mother Died If I said anything, he’d stop, so I just let him be. Tell me, I wanted to ask, how to be parentless & alone & secretly in love with water. There’s a now we each live in that sometimes feels more like never than enough. If my father believes in ascension, then out there, beyond the lake, his mother lives forever. In the lake, too. In the wind to comb my father’s hair. In the tree that wills each holy & parentless limb to cast a shadow in the morning sun’s light. Out there, I hope, all we’ve ever missed becomes all we ever are. I love. I’ve loved. I will love to keep my father alive. When he turned slow to me, he blamed the wind for all his crying.