have retired now that the circus
has closed, to their watercolors
& bowling leagues, their tusk-dug
rose gardens, their record collections,
say one has
begun a letter to you, peacock feather
gripped in the beautiful gray coils
Mark Wagenaar is the author of Southern Tongues Leave Us Shining (Red Hen Press, 2018), winner of the 2016 Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award, and The Body Distances (A Hundred Blackbirds Rising), (University of Massachusetts Press, 2016). He teaches at Valparaiso University and lives in Valparaiso, Indiana.