Abstract Therapy in the Natural World by Bill Neumire


We were only       near​ each other
so we took a class
                             on trees,
their dear nocturne of needles,
               how they pallbearer up the hills,
               how they tall                     into crashing.

When does it weigh too much,
the many                and’s,​ the breathing,
the fear
                of knees & ordinary years
in the kitchen?

Light consoles the garden                 gate.
We didn’t take               a class on trees.
There’s no such thing
but the end     loves all                 beginnings.

A truck of mirrors fails               to clear
the low bridge
                            & one blackbird
becomes               buckshot over my frozen

               No                 the class was on needles:
may you become               your eyes
was the lesson.

We pulled over to see
                                   the tragedy of glass
& we were suddenly seers.
The driver wasn’t hurt
but was                           yelling f​uck me!
at the untouched lake.
A breeze steered us

& we walked among the triangles
of sky, the largest organ
of the earth. There were millions of us
up there looking down into ourselves.


Bill Neumire’s first collection, Estrus, was a semi-finalist for the 42 Miles Press Award. His recent poems appear in Harvard Review Online and Beloit Poetry Journal.