Poems

ROBERT LYNN
Gift

You left and the earth bent your sorrow out of view.
RainAgain, living breathed out its chipped surprises.

I did my best, drew pictures of this house
Rainas a place of painlessness, the besieged capital of joy.

The mockingbird I recounted with anything but contempt.
RainWhoever first described birdsounds as songs must

have been pretty proud of the metaphor. Or else
Rainit was so obvious they couldn’t notice, even then.

On the first day I didn’t remember speaking of you, I knelt
Rainin the garden. The one I’d named after Milosz but never

told you for fear you might disagree. The name lingers
Rainright where I want it, just for me. Like the soft molds

my knees make of the forgiving earth. There is no sign
Rainand I have never spoken about my garden to anyone.

Robert Wood Lynn is a poet from Virginia. He is the author of the collection Mothman Apologia (Yale University Press) and the chapbook How to Maintain Eye Contact (Button Poetry). He is the winner of the 2021 Yale Younger Poets Prize and the 2023 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, as well as a 2023 NEA Creative Writing Fellow. His work has been featured in American Poetry Review, Poetry Magazine, The Southern Review, The Yale Review and other publications. He lives in Rockbridge County, Virginia.