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I bask beneath this eye,
sun roving our marriage
bed, sheets bunched
together like gathered
wheat. Your side empty
and cool now, already
you work the fields. I take more
than my portion, I turn slow
as the moon in daylight hours.
You, husband, have always given me
more than I can carry, such weight
I’ve not known (only, before,
a dead husband’s hand, an old woman
weeping). Even good things have
weight—a harvest, a child turning
his slow discoveries in the womb.
The burdens I am grateful for, that save
me, from the eternal emptying of the widow.

Renee Emerson is the author of the poetry collection Keeping Me Still (Winter Goose Publishing, 2014). Her poetry has been published in Tar River Poetry, Boxcar Poetry Review, The Indiana Review and others; she lives and writes in Arkansas.

Photo: Naomi entreating Ruth and Orpah to return to the land of Moab, by William Blake; public domain.