Let’s say this time is seed, will grow into

another shape we cannot comprehend,

as when seedlings become a summer’s shade

in decades hence or answers reach our ears

though we’ve forgotten what the questions were.


Let’s say that time already knows what is,

including all that hasn’t happened yet,

already hears, sees, touches, grieves, gives room


to what will be—the mockingbird’s veering

to stand upright three branches from the sill

and then its song so loud you can’t believe

the moment can continue but it does.


Then, just as sudden:  silence, sunlight, shade.

A mind

               already looking back in wonder.

Jeff Hardin is the author of two previous collections: Fall Sanctuary and Notes for a Praise Book. His third collection, Restoring the Narrative, received the Donald Justice Poetry Prize and was published in 2015. His poems appear in The Southern Review, Southwest Review, Southern Poetry Review, Measure, Poetry Northwest, Sugar House Review, Tar River Poetry, Hudson Review, and elsewhere. He lives and teaches in Tennessee.

Jeff Hardin photo


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