“Like apple pucker released / by the cider press. Like wings.” So opens “Vigil,” the first poem of Kathryn Weld’s flickering new collection. These are poems that locate us with great precision, exactly where we live, which is to say, in the constant motion of earthly existence, immersed in the life of the earth, its creatures and tides, and buffeted by our own elation and loss. Here are poems that pause on the cusp of a white-out fog over the inlet; the death of a loved one; the grace note of Spiderwort petals against a garden fern.
NIGHT CROSSINGThe fog hurtles like bat wings, storms the bow, dodges the red-and-green lights that signal right-of-way, until, finally, the cloud-bodies fall away and the boat breaks to open water, to wind, waves and Cassiopeia leaning over the pines. Now night spills open and my father seems quite near. I hear his voice from years ago, each crossing, Scan the lake, Girl. Scan the shore, watch out for other boats, for shoals. Beneath the engine’s endless thrum, I hear words like wish, awake, here, starry, dead – each a discrete eye of fire, a single point-estimate. Touch water – warm to finger, too deep to parse or hold.