The air is soft and sweet tonight
and two men have died in the village.
One as he hoed in this vineyard
and one in a hospital sleep.
The old people gather,
comfort the widows,
and count the villagers
remaining. It’s spring, the hills
are fragrant, “and that,” says
an old lady friend of ours, “is that.”


From Notes From a Mountain Village, forthcoming with Barbican Press in 2015.