“After the Paris Accord” by Carter Smith

Carter Smith


I’m just trying to say these two trees
and the birds in them, some egrets
and a kind of stork I’m seeing
for the very first time, and a
spoonbill or two, and otters
somewhere in the water, I’m thinking
how can I subtract my thinking,
maybe just a memory for now, the shutters
of houses here and there, I slept
in some, or stood and felt
the water’s pull, I asked
something, my asking
was out of place, I know that
was the meaning, attaching
some little pleasure to
some little phrase, making
it last, and at the time
we said it’s all here, we
came this far, we waved, wasn’t
it something

from Poets Respond


Carter Smith: “This poem responds to the well-reported U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.”

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