Tom Montag

Mid-August Evening

It is summer still,
but the lost end
of it. Already

the days grow shorter.
The sun wants to
fall back south. I walk

the evening to its
rough conclusion.
Even the fireflies

have given up. Wind
and trees speak to
one another of

the charging darkness.
I hold my breath.
I might be happy.


The Mercy That Is

The mercy that is touch
as we’ve reached this grey age.
The tender edge of every-
thing new in these bodies.

Darling, you’re getting
to be an old woman.
I am an old man.
We are practiced, shall

we say. Some mornings
you want to keep us
limber, and some mornings
I do. We play our way

into another day
and hope what we do
with our fingers is
enough for our hearts.


This Holiness

There where she widens
and sweetens
and takes you in,

this woman, her motion,
her breathing the night.
The flickering

push and shove, push
and pause rhythm of
water and light and

holiness. Somehow still-
ness still pulls the silver
thread out of us.

The release. The release
and the long fall back.

© Tom Montag

Tom Montag is most recently the author of In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013. In 2015 he was the featured poet at Atticus Review (April) and Contemporary American Voices (August), with other poems at Hamilton Stone Review, The Homestead Review, Little Patuxent Review, Mud Season Review, Poetry Quarterly, Provo Canyon Review, Third Wednesday, and elsewhere.

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