What Happens Next


What Happens Next

Another night with the frost,
she says, and you’ll know

the half-life of cold.
Which is not to say enjoy,

or pity, or pretend.
It is the sheath of God’s

gaze, an unsuspected lump.
The harvested curse.

You grasp what happens next.


“What Happens Next” first appeared here in November 2017.



6 thoughts on “What Happens Next

      • Thumbs up for vaccinations! The after-effects are nil for me. Memorable getting-to-the-needle experience – hour plus in slow-motion line – I’d give anything to have read the minds of all those others spaced 6-ft apart in line – all of us in a huge life pause…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Several of my friends have been affected by the second shots, but all recovered quickly. There’s some anecdotal evidence that parosmia sufferers recover after the vaccinations. Something to hope for, I guess. It would be nice to be able to cook and eat peppers and onions again.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. It almost feels like schadenfreude toward the narrator(s) to enjoy this poem, Bob. But, as always, you deliciously deliver so much with such understatement and omission and levering and leveraging (and leavening!) of words. Your economy of emotion is astounding, and I find it cuts as much as a Donne sonnet or a Dickinsonian turn of phrase a la “Zero at the Bone.” It appears, in my aging, I have come to appreciate such emotional and linguistic economies even more than previously I did! This is but one very good poem that I hope is on the “to be anthologized” list for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Leigh. The struggle is always over what’s too much vs. too little. Nowadays I lean towards less is better, provided the “clues” offer vivid fragments to readers. I generally find poetry that requires me to read between the lines to be more interesting than overt explanations.

      Liked by 1 person

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