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THE LODGE MEADOW / Patricia Clark Each day there are endings In the meadow, an iridescent dragonfly Fluttering in a circle at my feet, And wildflowers, some stepped on, all eventually Gone to seed after baking in the June, New Hampshire sun. When I come here thinking of our marriage Last fall, of your slim and restless body Sleeping next to mine, I'm haunted by our Deaths instead. I saw in the photograph Of your wife's grave the twin headstone That is yours, only one date missing, And know, as a part of me can never know, I'll lose you some day. I've carried A bedspread out into the field, white When the wind blows across the seed crowns Of the wild grasses, and I lie here Caught up with what decays—the brief Flower, the hemlock's new growth, the dandelion fluff Burst and floating over the field with the rest Of the day's scattering bits. The Missouri Review · 253 COMMENCEMENT BAY / Patricia Clark Paths to the beach down the cliff's edge, Some through grass, down washed-out earthen Steps, some down rickety stairs warped By the sea, ending in a drop-off On a rocky shore where small stones, bearded With seaweed, turned my legs rubbery, Where I slid along never sure of my footing Until I came to the lighthouse and stopped In the lee of the wind. Nights in high school When I couldn't sleep, I walked here, Sometimes with a boy, and we'd find A beach-shack and huddle in it, talking Most of the night. Kisses fumbled, embraces Meant to be tender, I never felt Loved or loving, just passionate To be joined, or moving. With my lover Now, the body I thought was mine Wants to abandon its reticence. Not quite breakers, but a low surf Kicked up by the wind, waves belly up To the beach. Stroking my arm, his hand Makes a sound like the ocean hissing Inside a shell, and we're heading, surely, Out to sea, wave after white-capped wave. 254 · The Missouri Review ...


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