Poem: Looking for Robert Frost

Jan 29, 2014

The light in the desert comes on slowly

as though we need to prepare for it

or as though it is a gift given grudgingly.

At other times the edge of the world

begins in a blaze brighter than anything

we deserve. Last night I dreamt my father died

as we tried to find where Robert Frost wrote.

We were headed to a beach shack

on the other side of a concrete canal

when he jumped, trying to swim beyond

the surge that flowed toward land

as though Frost wrote with the power

of the charging sea. The current dragged

him down a rocky chute. He was seventy.

We never saw him again. Sometimes the night

comes on like that, suddenly, like a rock

to the head. One minute you think the light

will last forever, the next thing you know

you’re blind, drowning in a dark tunnel

without even a pin-prick flicker

at the immeasurably distant end.


Jose Alcantara
Credit Jose Alcantara

Jose Alcantara teaches math in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.  He started writing poetry four years ago after a quasi-mystical experience in a graveyard involving Dante, a dead woman named Guadalupe, melting frost, a raven, and some church bells. He was the recipient of a 2013 Fishtrap Fellowship in Poetry.