Count it all as loss

Count it all as loss

Count it all as loss 5184 3456 Tania Runyan

All of it: children whistling ryegrass,
my husband rubbing my back

in his sleep. Consider rubbish the sun
climbing the eye of Delicate Arch,

the scent of popped-open coffee.
Leave it behind, pleads the scourge-

scarred Paul. Lay it down and rise.
But even loss is hard to count as loss.

This morning frost has leathered
the nasturtium, but I cannot endure

ripping the haloes of leaves from their pot.
The astilbe, once a lavender mist

in my window, burns toward winter,
seed heads trembling like the hands

of an old charismatic. Maybe in heaven
I will remember the March I buried

those bare roots around the base of the oak
and brooded about some sin or another

holding me fast in the mud, spring
the only unseen I could bear to believe.



Tania Runyan

Tania Runyan is the author of the poetry collections Second Sky, A Thousand Vessels, Simple Weight, and Delicious Air, which was awarded Book of the Year by the Conference on Christianity and Literature in 2007. Her book How to Read a Poem, an instructional guide based on Billy Collins’s “Introduction to Poetry,” was released in 2014. More information about this book, including teaching tools and a $1000 scholarship, can be found at Tania's poems have appeared in many publications, including Poetry, Image, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, The Christian Century, Atlanta Review, Indiana Review, Willow Springs, Nimrod, and the anthology In a Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare. Tania was awarded an NEA Literature Fellowship in 2011 and writes for Image Journal's blog, Good Letters. When not writing, Tania tutors high school students, plays fiddle and mandolin, and gets lost in her Midwestern garden.

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