In a year of throwing voices into the hot wind
Filling the road with blue and red sawhorses
Blocking the street in a year of knowing the correct
Word or where places were as I imagined them
Growing dark like levels I hadn’t reached in a game
I was playing too much time lost to one thing
I should revolve around the lost time give it
The attention I give myself in a year of watching
All the branches fallen in my yard fall out of
The wind across my attempts to focus to keep
Going a little longer wrapped up in a blanket on
The porch in a year of women moving into
The house across the street each with her turn
Using the leafblower in a year of not knowing
Anyone by their faces no matter what they
Say their voices come out of movies in a year of
Building a barricade with magazines and newspapers
I added to it whenever I wasn’t paying attention
I set myself to doing nothing in a year of not
Finishing my thought I was circled by a moon or
Several I was clay settled into a chair opposite
Myself a part of a pair I felt as if I’d arrived at lunch
Not knowing whether I should be there but still
This water contains a lemon slice floating amid
So much ice in a year of tornado warnings or
In a year of an actual tornado across the city
Growing as it passes above the man-made lakes
Through the fairgrounds crossing back and forth
Over the river before coming up the hill
And holding at the intersection outside my house
Will I come to the porch to meet it or huddle
Behind my walls purpling under green skies in
A year of what I can I will in a moment by
Speaking forward be moving in circles not unlike
Someone rotating a lazy Susan in search of what’s
Outside the circumference of their desire in a year
Of when I was expected to arrive passing for
A moment before me holding me up rushing in
So late you’ll have to forgive me if I’m not myself


Cover of TLR's "Heaven" issueSamuel Amadon is the author of Like a Sea and The Hartford Book. His poems have appeared recently in The New Yorker, Poetry, American Poetry Review, jubilat, A Public Space, Lana Turner, and elsewhere. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of South Carolina and edits the journal Oversound with Liz Countryman.

“Tarrying” originally appeared in Heaven (TLR Fall 2016)