The deer they said would be there at dawn
but the dawn mist instead.
Always something instead
like the little brown pebble on the porch
that turned out to be a frog.
Things that arrive on their own
like the domed Conestogas of afternoon cloud,
fat as senators from Mississippi.
How there is always a truth, and then underneath that
more elusive truth —
All before the pell-mell education of dying
when things will be fast but at the same time slow,
like the loud dripping of a clock.
Instead of the quiet you never noticed
hailstones of rain on the roof,
after which you could hear the wind.
So praise instead;
praise the word instead like a treetrunk
that falls across your path.
Like a bridge that leads
away from your destination.
You had expected to be dead by now,
or living in New York.
Mist suspended above the meadow:
pale and gauzy, in rumpled sheets;
where you have come with so much readiness.