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First Deposition
A trout stream in the high Rockies,
my wife's laughter, a little brass whale
from Taiwan, the sight from my study window
of the two blue hills above the trees,
all kinds of cats, the high desert
of northern Nevada, all particulars
concerning the life and writings of Pope,
the time of sundown and just after,
the grammar of any language, a fl awless
sea urchin shell found on Hendry's beach
and kept around and looked at
almost daily for ten years now,
all the birds, the look of Greek on the page,
cottonwood trees in summer, glistening
above the ditches in the dry country
of the west, the words of English songs
of the period 1580 to 1620,
the smell of lumber, of the iron
in a hoe as you fi le it, of a horse;
bolts of fi ne woolen goods;
the Indian head nickel; rain,
snow, sunshine, wind, darkness,
the game of poker, discovering used bookstores
in large cities, the clear recollection
of the house and farmyard of early childhood;
driving through streets to meet someone
at the airport, at an hour, late or early,
when you are not usually out; bare trees;
the rhythms of iambic trimeter;
granite boulders; coff ee; the coming
of the early darkness of December.