F. Daniel Rzicznek

To Corwood


I’ll give up this plan

to donate my clothes,

claim a corpse.


A heavy rain rushes over

yet little comes down.


A card with a name written

sticks to the wall’s white—

there is nothing to get.


Drops ticking the awning now.


It’s the day: gassing up the car

again, navigating the mail,

clocks in the jeweler’s room

at war with one another.


The voices operate

on a frequency I’ve forgotten.


Your rain is changing that

by degrees, an opening

among the unintended silences,

a summoning beyond structure—


the reason my eye strays

to trees still bare in summer,

houses with curtains drawn.


The lights left on for good.



Herons coming and going over islands.

What is has been slowly gathering,

lunging through tracks we’ve just made

in our miles and miles of nerves.

The deep snow that forces us back—

today you’ve been fighting it.

There’s an indifference within it all

and, when walking, I see a merlin

bullet toward our street, I go cold.

Nothing has moved this way in a week,

but the whole time, we feel watched.

The untouched snow tells us to relax,

there must be a cure, a price.

What can be said? The merlin scares,

wind has kept the trappers home.

The bay is a slate of solid ice.

When I make the corner toward you

we flush a pair of geese at the far end.

The odds instruct me you’ll recover

(shanties clustered off the harbor)

but there will be a day we don’t. Still,

I find your complexion renewed—

the deep central ditch unfrozen, open.


F. Daniel Rzicznek is the author of two poetry collections, Divination Machine (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press, 2009) and Neck of the World (Utah State University Press, 2007), as well as three chapbooks, Nag Champa in the Rain (Orange Monkey Publishing, 2014), Vine River Hermitage (Cooper Dillon Books, 2011), and Cloud Tablets (Kent State University Press, 2006). His work can be found forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, Colorado Review, Drunken Boat, december, and Passages North. Also coeditor (with Gary L. McDowell) of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice (Rose Metal Press, 2010), Rzicznek teaches writing at Bowling Green State University.