A Squirrel on Emily Dickinson’s Fence - SR (Salvatore Richard) Inciardi

It is as much yours as it was hers
the tall gray fence in a straight line
see how it entertains your silent expedition
above the pickets and past the days of national unrest
when times were prolonged and quiet distractions rare
when the day said all there was to know
in a time within measure with one beating heart
in thoughts held close to it
subsumed in the leaves and flowers of her exotic gardens
knowing what was good and could be recited
in the lines between the bricks of the Amherst house
in each of her leather-bound books
adorning the linen-covered tables
and in the pink roses of the wallpapers
studied as she no doubt searched for a word
or edited a phrase to stand
just as she wanted in their succinct allotted spaces
gathered as if morsels of food sniffing the choices diligently.
You still live among the trails occupying the grounds,
among the trees and the picket fences
alive in this newly troubled time
recalling subtleties just as they are
and as they were then: out of sight
in the soft breath of anonymity.

SR (Salvatore Richard) Inciardi was born in New York City in 1956 and grew up in Brooklyn, attending Brooklyn College and then New York University for his master’s degree. While at Brooklyn College, he was encouraged and influenced by David Lehman and John Ashbery, both professors at the school at that time, and later more heavily influenced by the poetry of WH Auden, Frank O’Hara, WS Merwin, Billy Collins and Louise Gluck, among others. SR has been married since 1978 and has one married adult child and four grandchildren.

SR Inciardi has published two collections of poetry: Coloring Outside the Edges, released in October 2022 and The Aroma of Thawing, Poems on Grief and Recovery released in June 2023 after the sudden and tragic loss of his thirty-seven-year-old son. Both collections are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other outlets.