This is a year of poppies: our land
was brimming with them as May burned
into June and I returned—
a sweet dark wine that made me drunk.
From clouds of mulberry to grains to grasses
ripeness was all, in the fitting
heat, in the slow drowsiness spreading
through the universe of green.
My life half over I saw grown sons
setting off alone and vanishing from sight
beyond the prison the flight
of the swallow makes in the spent
glow of a stormy evening, but the pain
gave way humanely to the light
coming on inside the house for another meal
in air made cooler by hail
letting off steam in the distance.