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November 2006

Three oaks

by Karl Kirchwey

A new poem.

I stopped this morning on a curve of the Lenox Road,
just where East Road branches off (you won’t know where this is,
I realize), because of a—a feeling of accomplished peace,
I guess I’d call it, though such a phrase can’t be trusted.
What I mean to say is that often before I had been tempted,
driving past, to stop at that grove of three oak trees,
where a barred gate and some fence posts’ staggered silvers
contained a hillside pasture still unmowed
even in mid-July: and this time I did stop.
That’s it, really. Nothing at all changed, in the deep
shadows of those trees or the several boulders
left to wait in that field by the last glaciers;
and the silence relied on no answer from anything human.
So I got back in my car and I drove on.
Karl Kirchwey

Karl Kirchwey is the author of five books of poems, including The Happiness of This World: Poetry and Prose (2007).

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 25 November 2006, on page 32

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