Another year and we're together,
crossing your glinting fields.
Five p.m. under a sky claimed in childhood,
claimed in streets connecting your house with mine,
home from another city,
another year of separation.
We pause in our metallic light
and talk—50, 15, 25 years old,
depending on the subject.
Traversed by the treeline,
your body in your mother's jacket.
Nothing breaks the restraint of this grid,
your face held in place by pines,
New Year's Eve, our conversation.
Each year the forest presses our dialogue
into another ring.
One day the wooden record will play itself;
we'll hear each time we chose
one past over another to extrapolate,
each time that path grew over.
Your brother skates on the pond,
moving like pen on paper.
Time emanates from our selves.
We run after it
like your retriever let go in a field:
part fluid muscle, part slung leash.
Excerpted from Poems by Anne Michaels. Copyrightę 1999 by Anne Michaels. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of
Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.