The Man Who Is Ready
(Spring 2011 Issue)

Charles Rafferty

I’m on the brink of daffodils. 
The backyard snow is full of urine 
blooms, the mud underneath is ready 
to be itself. It won’t be long 
before the planet tilts and the birds 
roll north like marbles, the sap
crawls out of the bedrock. The meadow’s 
sublimation makes me feel 
like a piece of sky — ready to plummet, 
ready to rain. Up on the mountain 
the snowcap wishes toward water — 
a wildness that doesn’t lose pace, 
no matter the stones crowding its path, 
no matter the roots of everything. Down here
I’m waiting for the ants to arrive
with their shifting script, their message 
from below. I’m ready for this page,
this square of softening dirt, 
for this garden of almost daffodils 
to bang all my air to bells.

Charles Rafferty is the author of four full-length collections of poetry. His poetry has been published in numerous journals including The New Yorker. He directs the MFA program at Albertus Magnus College and lives in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, with his wife and two daughters.

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