Having read them all or not,
we soon conclude everythingís a front
covering up centuries of inexperience:
the leaves outside donít care
about last yearís foliage,
and the rocks in rain find it easy
to forget the sunís glower.
Year after year our voyages
deliver us to the same predicament:
around us lies the land of the already
explored, and yet our errors, veering off
with the eye, outside, beyond the safe interior,
remain unmapped and unremarked:
that streak of quartz, those patient, weeping trees!
—Nadia Herman Colburn
Nadia Herman Colburn has won the PEN/NE Discovery Award in poetry. Her poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, Volt, and elsewhere.
Originally published in the February/March 2004 issue of Boston Review.