Two Poems

By Erik Norbie


It helps when I lose time
in the soil
behind the garage,
moving my fingers like weeds, turning
over handfuls of earth.
Yesterday, when I looked up it was dark,
the day having passed gently.
And I realized
my body was aching,
my knees sunk deep in the dirt,
hunched forward as if
in prayer. And maybe I was
holding a god’s answer fiery
and small as a radish.


Preparation for the End

Our heads held back, eyes
flickering up, we wait
outside while the wind gathers
our awe into a thunderhead
about to throw down the world around us. As if
wonder can only come from above.
Didn’t you know?
The lightening we see isn’t striking,
it’s rising.
Bright morsels rupturing up
from beneath our feet
while we stand agape to the sky,
robbing the dirt of its light.

Erik Norbie’s poems have recently appeared in Image, Columbia Poetry Review, Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere. He was a winner of the Kalanithi Writing Award from Stanford University’s Department of Medicine. He is an MFA candidate at the University of Montana, where he also teaches.

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