George David Clark

The road dead ends into this northern vista.

You can’t go further than the panorama’s

edge: its virgin snow, that ice-jam twisted

through the firs below whose fleece pajamas

gently let you know you’re far too pledged

to all the heat at home, the days you owe

and lease and nearly own. Atop this ledge the wind is stiff, and then it starts to blow.

But even if before you’ve stopped right here

and winced as each tomorrow déjà vued,

tonight you sense a yawn in the frontier,

which tempts you to the fence and slides you through.

Glance back and watch your boot prints disappear:

the long hand inches on, but not on you.

George David Clark is the author of Reveille, winner of the Miller Williams Prize. His more recent poems can be found in Agni, The Georgia Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. The editor of 32 Poems, he is an associate professor of English at Washington & Jefferson College.