If you find yourself half naked
and barefoot in the frosty grass, hearing,
again, the earth’s great, sonorous moan that says
you are the air of the now and gone, that says
all you love will turn to dust,
and will meet you there, do not
raise your fist. Do not raise
your small voice against it. And do not
take cover. Instead, curl your toes
into the grass, watch the cloud
ascending from your lips. Walk
through the garden’s dormant splendor.
Say only, thank you.
Thank you.

From Against Which. Copyright © 2006 by Ross Gay. Reprinted by kind permission of CavanKerry Press Ltd.

Ross Gay

Ross Gay

About the author

Ross Gay is the author of four books of poetry, and winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His collection of essays, The Book of Delights, was released by Algonquin Books in 2019. Ross is also the co-author of two chapbooks; founding editor of the online sports magazine Some Call it Ballin’; editor with Q Avenue and Ledge Mule Press; founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard; and collaborator on The Tenderness Project. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Ross teaches at Indiana University.