A sonnet for the first day of the year.
Perhaps an ode, a suburban pastoral,
an elegy or curse for the old year.
It being morning, I’m still somewhat plural.
The paper tries for an uplifting tone:
the murder rate is down. At the party—
when did the new songs become the old songs?
Tupelo Honey. Girl from the North Country.
Not the way she sang, but how she danced
and smiled, and the smiles of her old friends.
This morning the scent of tea olive entrances.
Next door in the neighbor’s carport, children
laugh, jumping on bubble-wrap, like the far,
perpetual small arms fire in the distance.


RGatSundown80.jpg **Richard Garcia** is the author of Rancho Notorious and The Persistence of Objects from BOA Editions. His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, The Georgia Review, Crazyhorse, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, and The Best American Poetry.