Kevin Goodan

Between Brightness and Weight

Frost on the white barn
but not on the red.
Frost on alder more white
than on thistle and dung.
Against snow in the pasture
where I walk clicking
my tongue among many sparrows rising.
Between brightness and weight.
How in trees wind turns air silver.
Ice on the water trough,
ewes breathing against it.
Green oak smoldering on a burn pile—
smoke more white than frost—
the whiteness of farewell—
the difference between snow untrampled
and sparrows over churned-up snow—
shadows deep and rough-hewn.
A mare coming slowly forward—
leaning into me when I scratched her neck.
The smell on my hands after.

Kevin Goodan
Between Brightness and Weight is reprinted from In The Ghost-House Acquainted (Alice James Books, 2004).