Ivy worries the dying tree. Robins
worry the grass, which is hardly grass
but an audience of violets mimicking
the sky. Mist worries the mountain,
a neckache of twisted pearls.
All the little screens are worried by light
and scripts of darkness squirming
across the light. Melting permafrost
should worry everyone, a toxin
of dread polluting bodies that sleep
badly, eat expensively, and spend too
many hours in chairs working on nothing
important, and of course I mean mine.
I wonder, as I worry sentences, whether
worry could be an expression of anger.
Only land knows the answer, bedrock
of sedimented loss, shawled and crawled
over by strivers and their excrements,
strapped down by pavements, thinking so
slowly about us all and refraining from bringing
the topic around to itself every damn time
because it is time, breathless and all breath,
a vital feeling gone hard, heavy, and unworryable.
Lesley Wheeler’s forthcoming books include Unbecoming, her first novel; The State She’s In, her fifth poetry collection; and Poetry’s Possible Worlds, a suite of hybrid essays. Her work appears or is forthcoming in The Massachusetts Review, Ecotone, Crab Orchard Review, and other journals. Poetry editor of Shenandoah, she lives in Virginia and blogs about poetry at lesleywheeler.org.