They rose up from the riverbank
bending their dark shapes over the water
like pillars that had been leaning too long
in the sun and wanted to rest.
And yes the river was lovely in its long
feline flowing over and around the river stones.
But the trees were splendid in their own right
shaking their beads, pasting glitter around their cheeks,

and oh how they fell, loosening their roots
swooning into the moving water,
which carried them on its back downstream,
their voices reverberating along the airways,
promising their lovers
before long they would return.

Patricia Fargnoli


Soon he will leave,
a man with four suitcases
hurrying into the rain.

All that can be kept then
is the black belt of sadness

which you have earned
four times over.

This is the hardest lesson--
you must let go of what
you would hold too firmly.

Four times the bells ring,
loud at first--
and then softer,

the sound disappearing
above you in the wet, white pines.

Patricia Fargnoli
PATRICIA FARGNOLI is a retired social worker and currently teaches poetry to adults in New Hampshire where she lives in a senior apartment complex with her sheltie. She is very active in the New Hampshire poetry community, is on the state touring roster, and has taught at the New Hampshire Institute of Art and at The Frost Place summer conference. Her book, Necessary Light (Utah State University Press), won the 1999 May Swenson Book Award judged by Mary Oliver, and a chapbook, Lives of Others, was published last year by Oyster River Press. Work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Atlanta Review, Rattle, Southern Poetry Review, Poetry, and a number of others.