Back to Issue Nine.




for Emily

Wearing Wellington boots, we followed the retriever
along the perimeter of the property.

Just that morning a man and his son
had brought in firewood from the fallen tree.

Through barberry: a small clearing
in the woods, hollow like the inside of a cello.

I walked around a tree stump, like Mustardseed.
After sunset, we looked through a square window

into the stark cabin where she writes.
Within a bubble in the antique glass, the sky swirled—

reflected like a sequin, like summer even,
though it was New Years Day, and the world

was dusky, and the dog, the house, the woods, the books—
they weren’t even ours.

Richie Hofmann‘s debut collection of poems, Second Empire, is winner of the Beatrice Hawley Award and is forthcoming from Alice James Books in 2015. He is the recipient of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, and his poems appear in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, and Poetry. He is currently the Creative Writing Fellow in Poetry at Emory University.