By Eric Torgersen
Featured Art: The Enchanted Mesa by William Henry Holmes
a voice I haven’t sung from yet
Hang him from a tree he hasn’t hung from yet.
Fling him off a bridge no one’s been flung from yet.
Send succor, in whatever dark disguise:
a hornet’s nest he’s not gone running, stung, from yet.
He’d have it be a tower, not a steeple—
the height in him no bell has rung from yet.
Early fall, and not one branch the wind
has not stripped every leaf that clung from yet.
Recess. Winter. Second or third grade.
A frozen pipe he hasn’t freed his tongue from yet.
The drought seems endless. Spring. No drop of rain.
Just parched soil no shoot has sprung from yet.
Find it in some corner of the workshop,
some damp rag no last drop has been wrung from yet?
Probe the dank recesses of the cellar—
not one cask he hasn’t yanked the bung from yet.
Not by wit or rhetoric alone
will Eric find a voice he hasn’t sung from yet.
Eric Torgersen’s most recent book is In Which We See Our Selves: American Ghazals, Mayapple Press, 2017. He is completing a third book about Rilke, after Dear Friend: Rainer Maria Rilke and Paula Modersohn-Becker, and the novella The Man Who Loved Rilke.
Originally published in NOR 6