Keith Woodruff

June 4, 1998 – July 14, 1998

​I thought the world should be ashamed,
letting you go
before me. It is an old song:
we live and love
like rain against windows
and are done. Let cicada,
lilacs, articulate this miserable premise.Experts talk
of surviving your death
but the word is imprecise,
the way cleaning fish means
hacking off the heads,
scraping away the scales,
ripping out the sticky plumbing
that made the thing go.

Dare I say, some days
it seems you were never born?
But what carries me
along is surely the wake of your going.
Maybe it is true
what the old poet says: in this profound dark
the tiniest light is enough
to draw us back. But I am not ready
to be astonished. Dark still
as morning glories, purple and white,
open for a light I cannot see.

Keith Woodruff has a Masters in poetry from Purdue U’s creative writing program. His poetry has appeared in Poetry East, Zone 3, Tar River Poetry, The Panhandler, and is forthcoming in Quarter After Eight and The Journal. He lives with his wife and son in Akron, Ohio.