348 S. Hamilton 27288

R.S. GWYNN

Here is a life to clear away.

Here are a mother and a child.
Here are forms filled out and filed.

Here is an album of photographs.
Here is a pretty girl who laughs.
Here are heights and weights on graphs.

Here are crayon marks and scrawls.
Here are the dead cat’s strings and balls.
Here is the number of one who calls.
Here is dust that drifts and falls.

Here are the letters from the war.
Here is a test with a perfect score.
Here is a card from a visitor.
Here are gowns the babies wore.
Here is the class of ’34.

Here is the chest where treasures are.
Here is the sign that hung on the car.
Here is a page from the calendar.
Here is an “It’s a boy” cigar.
Here are coasters from a bar.
Here is a tinfoil Christmas star.

Here is a ring with a missing stone.
Here are papers for the loan.
Here is a girl with a xylophone.
Here is the flag that was never flown.
Here is a woman who lived alone.

Here is a candidate to choose.
Here is Bing Crosby’s “Wabash Blues.”
Here is a recipe to use.
Here are boxes of musty shoes.

Here are lists of bills to pay.
Here are footprints pressed in clay.
Here are the porcelain hands that pray.

Here are snapshots of the grave.
Here is one more thing to save.

Here is a life to clear away.


R.S. Gwynn’s books include Bearing and Distance (1977), The Naricssiad (1982), The Drive-In (1986), and No Word of Farewell: Poems 1970-2000 (2000). He is the editor of New Expansive Poetry (1999) and the Pocket Anthology series from Penguin Press. He is University Professor of English at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.

First published in Measure, Volume 1 (2006)