What To Give

by Jeff Hardin


I could give
my horizon,

the one I see
on cheekbones,

or I could give
how a gravestone

is armless
and can’t do anything

to hold back
a soul.

And then there are
those doodlings

my child leaves everywhere,

in some new language
I have to

lay on my stomach
to read.

If I could give away
the woman’s fingers

sauntering through
the organ’s tones,

I’d also give
my last three steps

in creek shallows,
how cool my feet felt

in silt.
But who wants

wayward things,
the bricklayer’s humming,

the sandcastle’s lean,
the thimble of air,

the two rowboats
side by side

bumping against
one another

as if in sleep?



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Jeff Hardin

Jeff Hardin is the author of Fall Sanctuary, Notes for a Praise Book, and Restoring the Narrative, recipient of the Donald Justice Poetry Prize and forthcoming in 2015. His poems appear in The Southern Review, North American Review, Ploughshares, The New Republic, The Hudson Review, The Gettysburg Review, Southwest Review, Poetry Northwest, Hotel Amerika, Meridian, Tar River Poetry, Southern Poetry Review, Poem, Zone 3, and others.

Contributions by Jeff Hardin