Robert Gibb’s books include After, which won the 2016 Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize and Among Ruins, which won Notre Dame’s Sandeen Prize in Poetry for 2017. Other awards include a National Poetry Series title (The Origins of Evening), two NEA Fellowships, a Best American Poetry and a Pushcart Prize. A new book, Sightlines, has won the Prize Americana for Poetry 2019.
Again this evening I’m riding it out,
Listening to the deadfall of branches
On the deck out back, the hinges creaking
In the trees. The dead of February.
Our three-day blow the trough between
The isobars, high-pressure and low.
Wind gusts above the speed limit.
The slower gales still wind chill
And hard on the shingles, still lethal
When they hit bare skin. I’ve got
Oil lamps and matches handy should
The power go out, firewood stacked
Beside the stove. Years ago in August
I watched a thresher cutting swaths
Through a hay field, nests of mice
Spilling out of cover, that roaring
Like a storm front above their heads.
Now today the treetops are still tossing
As though caught in a prop-wash.
The gate’s blown off my neighbor’s fence.
Climate out of whack and an aftermath
Whose swaths lay all around us.