Deborah Brown

Elegy on the Rusty Truck Trail
                     maybe as much as anything
                     he wanted to see
                     where the lane through the hay goes

                                                                                          Jane Kenyon

Thick with corrosion,
a skeletal farm truck
on a rocky slope
far from any farm.

The language of grief
shreds on arrival,
each word its own
proof of bruise.

Troubled, the brook
rushes out from underground.

Troubled, you looked at the house
piled high with hundred-year-old stuff.
You longed for “spring’s
thousand tender greens.”

Now mildew
afflicts the peonies you planted.
The pond is parched.

On the mountain, a noose of night.

Once you saw a yellow crocus bud
that “pierced a dead oak leaf,”—
all of it fragrant,
a flagrant vein, a path
into the open mouth of the world.



Deborah Brown’s recent book of poems, The Human Half was published by BOA Editions in April, 2019. Her first book “Walking the Dog’s Shadow,” was a winner of the A. J. Poulin Jr. Award from BOA Editions and of a New Hampshire Literary Award for Outstanding Book of Poetry. The title poem of the collection was awarded a Pushcart Prize. She edited, with Maxine Kumin and Annie Finch, Lofty Dogmas: Poets on Poetics (Univ. of Arkansas Press). With Richard Jackson and Susan Thomas, she translated the poems in Last Voyage: Selected Poems of Giovanni Pascoli (Red Hen Press). She has poems in many literary magazines as well as recent prose poems in Take Five (Finishing Line Press, 2020). Brown lives in Warner, NH.