Mary Ann Samyn

The Return from Calvary

Sunset too in a low key: a little wait—what?
—I’m thinking of my father, everything he’ll ever say now said.
And of the painting of the sorrow I was so afraid of.
Days and weeks to come, we can’t imagine, for our own good.
Something persists. Something grows tender. Nothing explains itself.
As in the hospital, early and late, such disbelief—
The bars of the bed are for railing against. His fist found out.
God is sensible but not reasonable; everywhere I look.


Cut and Dried

Quiet morning light…All my life I’ve wanted a regular life.
For witnesses, two white pines and an all–night wind.

Some people go to it, but poetry is no concern of mine;
pray for compassion and you’ll have your chances.

I belong to someone. A great poet told me so.
But the man whistling in the street is no one I know.

Mary Ann Samyn’s most recent collection is My Life in Heaven, winner of the 2012 FIELD Prize. She is Professor of English and Director of the MFA Program at West Virginia University.