This week’s poem offers a glimpse of yearning – and of how when we yearn, we hear and taste it everywhere. In “The Halo Brace I.,” Jeffrey Thomson presents a lyric poem: not a whole story but a sheer moment of feeling senses, and emotion. I love how this poem’s gorgeous, gauzy imagery interweaves the speaker’s inner and outer worlds, the mind and the morning air.

Thomson’s most recent book is “Half/Life: New and Selected Poems” from Alice James Books. He is a professor of creative writing at the University of Maine Farmington.

The Halo Brace I.
By Jeffrey Thomson

The Easter bells at Hitt and Locust,
the knell sounding along the rim of elms,
mean for me the death of love —

a woven cloth of air and a wealth
of oriels winding through.
As a cup raised in thanksgiving

means the absence of a language
to express what has become of us,
so desire become desire,

a tongue tastes tongues of air.
This music is the music I hear
desiring you. A weave of birds
through the smoking morning trees,

a thread of leaves disturbs the ground:
a shroud, a web of birds, this woven sound.

Megan Grumbling is a poet and writer who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. “Halo Brace I.” copyright 2020 by Jeffrey Thomson, reprinted from “Half/Life” (Alice James Books), by permission of the author.


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