Posted Land Ernest O'Brien Poetry

local_library Posted Land

by Ernest O'Brien

Published in Issue No. 45 ~ February, 2001

On days as slick as this, holstered on my hip,
I need a sign. The deer are lying low in the hazel thickets,
eyes as bright as oiled bolts, lying low on folded legs
on a mucilage of leaves, lying close to the earth they resemble,
beings long evolved who know what’s good for them,
unlike you and me, who second guess, unlike florid men
sighting down their Weatherbys, dead certain.
In mist like this, lowering with smoke that dives for ground,
I need a sign, sinking in the damp collapse of wind
billowing like rifle fire across the sodden hollow,
nothing straight in nature but the melt off of the eaves,
weight against my hip a troubled comfort,
desire a small assurance as the copper-clads spin true,
I need a sign that love and death are sure.

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Ernest O'Brien writes in the Laurel Mountains 80 miles east of Pittsburgh and is happy to leave it at that.