Detail of Abraham Brueghel's "Pomegranates and Other Fruit in a Landscape." From the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

As is the name of the earth, goes this good one.
As is the name of the molten river.
As is the name, that river goes forth.

The moon in the trees was a good moon,
The world in the sound-bite, a good world.
As in tunneling, the years went forth.

Narrow misses. Some bright star for stopping.

Madeleine gave me pomegranate seeds.
Betsey gave me strong tea with sugar.
Already we have suffered over the dropped fruit enough.

Already we have drunk the wine and suffered.

I have not yet come to a place of stopping.
You have not yet come to a place of stopping.
This is the way. Some people have hands.

Being a woman, you flow and keep.
There’s a birthing-tent waiting on the plains.
This is the way. Some people have hands.


“Untitled” appears in To The Wren (c) 2019 by Jane Mead. The poem appears with the permission of Alice James Books. All rights reserved.

Jane Mead

Jane Mead is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently World of Made and Unmade (Alice James, 2016) which was nominated for a National Book Award, as well as a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize and the Griffin Prize in Poetry. Her poems appear regularly in journals and anthologies, and she's the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, and a Lannan Foundation Completion Grant. For many years the Poet-in-Residence at Wake Forest University, she manages her family's ranch in northern California. She has taught as a visiting writer at Washington University, Colby College and most recently, The University of Iowa. Currently, Mead lives on her family's farm in Napa, California.