Grasping the gate
           with a hand gnarled
                           like the wood
of the rail fence,
             he eyes the hard sky
                            for a cloud in the shape
of his memory.
              So many fields
                            have furrowed, filled,
fallen in harvest, fallowed,
              green, gold, brown, white.
                            He has opened this gate
for six decades,
              tended to each
vealed some calves,
             mourned their absence
                            with the lowing cows
even as he made meals
             of their flesh
                            for unknown mouths.
The gatekeeper has watched
             these changeable skies
                            with these same eyes,
gray like his now gray
              grizzle and hair,
                           as he has dreamed
the hands that will
             tend him through
                           his own last gate.
Etched like the knot,
              gnarled like the wood,
                            bleached like its grain,
he has become the gate
              opening himself
                            to the wide slate sky.


Born in Pennsylvania, David Anthony Sam has written poetry for over 40 years. He spent most of his life in the suburbs of Detroit and now lives in Virginia with his wife and life partner, Linda. Sam has four collections and was the featured poet in the Spring 2016 issue of The Hurricane Review and his poetry has appeared in over 60 journals and publications. His chapbook, Finite to Fail: Poems after Dickinson, was the 2016 Grand Prize winner of GFT Press Chapbook Contest and his collection All Night over Bones received an Honorable Mention for the 2016 Homebound Poetry Prize.



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