After – David Brennan

after Paul Harding

Seven years to the day
of their daughter’s death
our friends had us over to watch
the funeral service, on VHS.

After, we spoke of the best time
of day for scything grass:
early morning, when wet;
of Thich Nhat Hanh, who when asked

why he spent so many
hours tending lettuce
instead of writing poems,
said, Without the lettuce

there would be no poems.
Over the hiss of rewinding tape
the father pointed out the window,
past the trellis bearing grape

vine and the sturdy chicken tractor.
It was spring, planting season.
We rolled her out in the wheelbarrow
and planted her there, in the garden. 


David Brennan’s most recent book is Murder Ballads: Exhuming the Body Buried Beneath Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads (Punctum Books). His poems have appeared in PANK, Heavy Feather Review, Verse Daily and elsewhere. He teaches at James Madison University in Virginia.

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