Matthew Buckley Smith: “The Dark Woods”

This haunting, wonderful poem combines everyday and modern objects into a mesmerizing litany, almost like a lullaby, that is unforgettable. Smith’s book, Dirge for an Imaginary World, won the 2011 Able Muse prize.

The Dark Woods

By Matthew Buckley Smith

They are still there, the dark woods from the dream,
While everything they symbolize is gone,
While the wireless speakers unwind their tidy theme,
And the tiki torches stutter on the lawn,
While the dishwasher rattles dishes left in the sink,
And the dog worries his tiny rubber man,
And the blinking clocks aren’t certain what to think,
And the fruit fly circles back to where it began,
And the interest keeps the credit cards awake,
Collecting in a server states apart,
And the siren cries out for a stranger’s sake,
And the smartphone mutes its obsolescent heart,
While the box fan turns a bedroomful of breath,
And the network brings the software up to date,
And the skim milk dies a timely, painless death,
And the woods, the woods you’ve dreamed about, they wait.

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