March 11, 2010

Mark Rich

INTO THE FOG

Whiteness over this village and hill
obscures everything from view until
you are right on it—if in a car
with someplace to go. Having not far

to go, by foot, to a household sale,
we wonder how forecasters could fail
so completely to see this coming,
mute folds draping over everything

so that what we see is never quite
what we know is there, in proper light.
A tree mistily looming, gray stain
against gray stain, lets droplets fall: rain

from white-washed boughs, falling so lightly
it touches our faces just barely
more strongly than the touch of this mist.
We go on, wondering if we missed

the house—then see someone’s furniture
ghostly in a yard. The departure
of the owner is followed by this—
that of her things. No one now will miss

whatever vanishes in whiteness.
To buy things being our morning’s business,
we do—then fight down the urge to roam
deeper into fog. We turn our way home.

from Rattle #31, Summer 2009