I live in Norwalk, Connecticut, with my wife, fellow poet Laurel Peterson, and I am a Professor of English at Manhattanville College. I have published a book of poems, Shiva Dancing (Texture Press, 2007), a chapbook, Between What Is and What Is Not (The Last Automat Press, 2010), and individual poems in various journals.
Sewing a Poem
I’ve risen before you to find the sun
newly spun and low inside the trees,
laying out the fabric of the day.
In the woods a bird tats a pattern on a birch,
threading beats through bolts of spattered rays,
spelling out a code twenty-five million years
in the making, intent on its task, indifferent
to my sitting in this early chill trying to measure
the slow unfolding of the light.
The dog has wandered off, bored by my scribbling,
set its nose to sniffing out the dew-drenched scent
a red fox draped along a fallen log last evening,
pausing once to fix the porch with yellow eyes before
it wrapped itself in sunset and hurried on toward dusk.
Suspended in this seam between dawn and day,
I gather in the work the morning does
to keep me stocked with cloth I’ll stitch with words,
do my part to sew a mantle against the chill.
When I’m done I’ll take it to you, still asleep,
and wrap you in the world’s first light.
©2016 Van Hartmann