Four Poems by Greg Watson




First Draft


It's hard to see from here,

words like waves reaching across

the horizon of the page;

the small smudge of a boat

approaching so slowly

that you wonder if perhaps 

you have imagined it.

But you can make out the form

of someone, then another,

waving through the gray distance.

You don't recognize them,

not yet, but you wave in return,

hesitant but welcoming,

as if bringing them closer

with each small movement

of your hand. 


In the Dream I Cried


In the dream I cried in the old language,

not knowing who or what for,

awoke to the silence of winter sky.


Light moved below the surface 

of the day yet to come. 


I believed in it, as I once

believed in you.


Leaving the Light on


Like poetry or painting,

the art of saying goodbye

does not get easier,

only more familiar. 

Your way was to say nothing

in a way that no one else

had mastered, which

in a brave moment 

might be mine as well. 

But I am not brave.

I am simply a man building

within walls of silence,

windows that drink up

the best light from the day.

It is not what you would call

a home, not quite.

But you, in death, survive

only on wind, rain, 

the memory of the living.

Your needs are small.

Should you choose to return,

you will find the door open,

the lamp on in the study. 

There is nothing here

worth taking, nothing we have

not already agreed to lose. 

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