Jane Mead is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently WORLD OF MADE AND UNMADE (Alice James, 2016) which was nominated for a National Book Award. Her poems appear regularly in journals and anthologies, and she’s the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, and a Lannan Foundation Completion Grant. For many years Poet-in-Residence at Wake Forest University, she manages her family’s ranch in northern California. She has taught as a visiting writer at Washington University, Colby College and most recently, The University of Iowa.
In animal darkness, before
the first day of harvest,
I walk up the vineyard’s main avenue—-
thumbnail moon, and the floodlight
from the big barn. Clanks and shouts.
The squat stone structures of the homestead
vanish, its layers of ghosts flicker
and go out. The black dog Leo follows me—-
almost invisible when I look back:
he floats,–a low-lying, uncomplaining
black cloud. Day by day, I hum—-
to the dog and the moon and the vineyard,
I guess,–let me see you more clearly.
Love is a ticket, whatever love is.
And to where I could not say.
-from World of Made and Unmade, Nominated for the National Book Award