The Brooks Gryphon

Nancy Pagh

In little jars and cabinets of my will
I let myself believe that love was good.
I held my honey and I stored my bread.
A grizzly shook his head from side to side.
He ambled slowly, sniffed the stuff inside
my little jars, the cabinets of my will.
He wasn’t hungry, but was incomplete.
He pushed his trail until the alder gave;
I gave my honey and I gave my bread.
I hoped that, when the devil days of hurt
resumed, when rain returned I’d catch it in
my empty jars and cabinets of my will.
I’d drink. Become the rain I loved and fall
as rain falls, on its knees. But darkness stopped
the bear that licked my honey, tore my bread.
No man has given any word but Wait.
My dreams, my works leap out instead
from little jars and cabinets of my will.
I drink this honey, eat it on my bread.

Brooks, Gwendolyn. “My Dreams, My Works Must Wait Till After Hell”
(Selected Poems, HarperCollins) and Pagh, Nancy, “Timothy Treadwell” and “Rain” (No Sweeter Fat, Autumn House Press).
This poem appears in Nancy Pagh’s collection Once Removed (MoonPath Press).

Nancy Pagh is the author of three poetry collections (No Sweeter Fat, After, and Once Removed) and one book of nonfiction. Her most recent publications appear in RHINO, Canadian Literature, Pif, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. She has recently published a textbook on creative writing with Broadview Press. She teaches at Western Washington University. More at

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