- Last Things
What will you write about your final day?On that last page the words require truth's grain.
What use is one more journey's destination?The sweet surprises of another day?
What, when the great fire roars through your home?What, when the earth's fault slips with its sundering?
What passion can you kindle to survive them?No, no, none will stand you in much stead.
You're here for a time, and time is—what it is.Write this: Five senses are all we have of the world.
Relinquishment may be the only story. [End Page 34]
Stephen Browning's poetry has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry Northwest, The Southern Review, and others. This is his second appearance in Ploughshares. He was awarded a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in poetry at Stanford University. A book of his botanical poetry, Hunger for Light, was published by the Fithian Press (2015).