Gail Goepfert

We were here—we saw sorrow

Here, lean in—
take time and slow your pace.
Everyone feels a little tender—
maybe this is the way of it.
The unspoken, the unspeakable—
such grief might make the mountain stoop.
Even trees must perform sorrow. Look
we can make do with so little, just the hint—
husk, leaf, little boat of paper
Doesn’t joy, like fear, make no sound?


Source & Method

These poems are part of a collaborative effort chapbook written over the last month using “found” lines to write centos. Cento Sources: Rob Jacques, Mia You, Mike Hartnett, Kim Addonizio, Daniel Lassell, Stephen Spender, Anna Akhmatova, Robert Reeves, Molly Fisk, Mark Doty, Louise Gluck.

Gail Goepfert, an associate editor at RHINO Poetry, is a Midwest poet, teacher, and photographer. Her publications include a chapbook, A Mind on Pain, 2015, Tapping Roots, 2018, and Get Up Said the World which will appear in 2020 from Červená Barva Press. More at

Issue 22