The 2River View 28.1 (Fall 2023)

Agnes Vojta


Nobody teaches you
how to be a widow.
On your own,
you must learn
a new alphabet,
write the sequel
to your story
on the palimpsest
of your dreams,
scraped of his presence,
cherish the traces
of his hand still
shining through.

Return to Santa Barbara

It is how I remember it: the air
still smells of ocean and tar
and of the wild fennel
that grows on the bluffs.

In the mornings, the fog
still veils the mountains.
The sanderlings still scurry
between land and sea.

But the eucalyptus trees
no longer shade the ravine
in the butterfly grove.

I hear the monarchs’
rustling wingbeats
only in my dreams.

Agnes Vojta grew up in Germany and now lives in Rolla, Missouri. She is the author of Porous Land, The Eden of Perhaps; and A Coracle for Dreams (Spartan Press); and of a chapter in Wild Muse: Ozarks Nature Poetry (Cornerpost Press). (website)
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