Poems by Jared Carter

Jared Carter
            After the Rain
 After the rain, it’s time to walk the field
 again, near where the river bends. Each year
 I come to look for what this place will yield—
 lost things still rising here.
 The farmer’s plow turns over, without fail,
 a crop of arrowheads, but where or why
 they fall is hard to say. They seem, like hail,
 dropped from an empty sky,
 Yet for an hour or two, after the rain
 has washed away the dusty afterbirth
 of their return, a few will show up plain
 on the reopened earth.
 Still, even these are hard to see—
 at first they look like any other stone.
 The trick to finding them is not to be
 too sure about what’s known;
 Conviction’s liable to say straight off
 this one’s a leaf, or that one’s merely clay,
 and miss the point: after the rain, soft
 furrows show one way
 Across the field, but what is hidden here
 requires a different view—the glance of one
 not looking straight ahead, who in the clear
 light of the morning sun
 Simply keeps wandering across the rows,
 letting his own perspective change.
 After the rain, perhaps, something will show,
 glittering and strange.
 (Reprinted from Darkened Rooms of Summer.)
 Where all the hills are silent now,
           and through the trees
 The wind, that once shook every bough
           and blossom, leaves
 Only the slightest breath. Here, birds,
           now half asleep,
 Content with songs that have no words,
           find shelter deep
 Within the forest. Here, release
           from constant quest,
 From endless pathways. Soon, like these,
           you too shall rest.
 (First published in Clementine Unbound.)

Jared Carter‘s most recent collection, The Land Itself, is from Monongahela Books in West Virginia. His Darkened Rooms of Summer: New and Selected Poems, with an introduction by Ted Kooser, was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2014. A recipient of several literary awards and fellowships, Carter is from the state of Indiana in the U.S.



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