To Ann Howells—
by Wade Martin

I remember your book
black crow in flight

whose murder is full
of terse tongues and
muted scenery

whose characters are
mostly dying

or dead
and whose recipes
whose automobiles
whose hundred-year-old
ties to the earth are
fraying at the edges
like an old dishrag.

I remember your wit
too and the hidden
movements of your eye
over coffee cups
wooden spoons
sunlight on the kitchen tile
mason jars large enough
for preserved memories

each one like a poem
shut up in a tiny transparent room
until I open up your book
and they come flying out

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