Elizabeth Macklin

YOU'VE JUST BEEN TOLD

to move to
Wolfe Island:

a rounded island in a wide
river at the edge of a wide, dark lake.

You've just been told
to move to Wolfe Island. What

will you find there?
Wolves?

Traps for wolves?
You've

been told to move to Wolfe Island.
What can you take along when you go?

All the kitchenware.
All the hammers and saws.

This book and that book.
Whatever your choice was.

You'll take a free ferry
to Wolfe Island. The car

has its brakes set and won't roll.
The ferry clanked into the dock

of the island.
What do you find there?

A small town. A red stop sign.
Islands of squared-off fields

in a pond of trees.
Little-box houses in square

yards. Clouds spread over the trees,
as flat as icing. Fences,

green wheat. A second shore.
A road with a name like

Button Edge Road?
Can't we go back and look?

Later. Don't worry.
Now we live here.


©2000 Elizabeth Macklin.
Reprinted with permission of W. W. Norton & Company.

Selected Works

Translations
A translation from the Basque, published by Seren Books in 2014
A translation from the Basque, published by Graywolf Press in 2007
Poems
"These [are] poems of abrupt perception and rigorous lyricism." —New York Times Book Review.
"[Her] city is surely the world, and the posture of kneeling surely implies reverence.." —Mary Oliver.
Several essays
A wander through Europe's oldest language, via a number of its latest speakers—poets, singers, writers, musicians—and bits of other phenomena.