Three Poems

Jared Carter

In Love
Photo Credit: Griffin Stewart


Now these initials carved in bark
will, when this tree
No longer stands, still in our dark
enchantment be

A witness to that moment when,
as we undressed
Within its shade, we were again
caught up, possessed

By passion that cares not if time
soon overgrows
The marks one thought to leave behind
with brier and rose.



“Had to be put to sleep.” How strange
those words seem now,
How difficult to rearrange,
back then, the how

And why of you, till it became
a kinder thing
To put you down. Where is that flame
that sought to bring

Me safely through the autumn trees?
That ran ahead
Into the dusk? And why those leaves
all turned to red?



Crows in bleak winter do not keep
together in
The bitter cold. Aloft, each sweeps
across the thin

Light, scattering the sky’s expanse.
No wind can freeze
Their sudden rising, or their dance
out through the trees

Beyond, where darkness falls—now gone,
released, unbound
By any rule, yet hurrying on
toward ancient ground.


Jared Carter lives in Indiana. His fifth book, A Dance in the Street, is available from Wind Publications in Kentucky. His sixth, Darkened Rooms of Summer: New and Selected Poems, is forthcoming from the University of Nebraska Press. Email: jaredrcarter[at]

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