Only A Few Times Getting To See…

He has a million fleeting thoughts
                                                          without a reason to recall them.
Across the countryside, the far-fetched sound of cattle lowing.
Conspirators, he thinks,
                                         you can have it, not noticing this smallest leaf.
In a rowboat,
                        one’s living loses its exactness, finds inlets, offshoots.
If I’d wanted to be triumphant, I would have chosen other work.
You say beyond—
                                 I say one more time across the creek’s five stepping stones.
The uncomplicated nature of grace sends the mind reeling.
A favored view’s endangered
                                                for all the years it stays intact.
Assembling years of details won’t make the self
                                                                            an open meadow.
Only a few times one gets to see
                                                        that yellow bird from tree to wholly gone.

Jeff Hardin is the author of four collections of poems, most recently Notes for a Praise Book, Restoring the Narrative, and Small Revolution. An editor for the online journal One, his poems appear recently in The Southern Review, Hudson Review, The Laurel Review, Pith, Blue Lyra Review, New Madrid, and elsewhere. Visit his website at