Poems by Ellen Bryant Voigt

The Last Class

Winter Field




Winter Field

The winter field is not
the field of summer lost in snow: it is
another thing, a different thing.

“We shouted, we shook you,” you tell me,
but there was no sound, no face, no fear, only
oblivion-why shouldn’t it be so?

After they’d pierced a vein and fished me up,
after they’d reeled me back they packed me under
blanket on top of blanket, I trembled so.

The summer field, sun-fed, mutable,
has its many tasks; the winter field
becomes its adjective.

For those hours
I was some other thing, and my body,
which you have long loved well,
did not love you.

From SHADOW OF HEAVEN (W.W. Norton, 2002)