for Dean

Looking through the glass as her hand fell, as doctors turned and walked away you knew there was no reason to go on. This is the way the world ends. What good is love if it cannot keep you both alive? The last minutes fall away like flakes of ash. Her children leave. Then she too is gone. What’s left? A sky of grief, the long green Gulf sailing away to the edge of the world? You, watching it every day, all night, waking again here?

RICK CAMPBELL’s newest book of poems is Dixmont, from Autumn House Press. His other books are The Traveler’s Companion (Black Bay Books, 2004); and Setting The World In Order (Texas Tech 2001) which won the Walt McDonald Prize and A Day’s Work (State Street Press 2000);. He’s won a Pushcart Prize, an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, and two poetry fellowships from the Florida Arts Council. He’s published poems and essays in many journals including The Georgia Review, The Florida Review, Prairie Schooner and many others. He is the director of Anhinga Press and the Anhinga Prize for Poetry, and he teaches English at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida. He was born on the Ohio River 20 miles downriver from Pittsburgh and lives with his wife and daughter in Gadsden County, Florida.