PINING, a definition

By  |  March 23, 2015
“Column” (2013), by RaMell Ross “Column” (2013), by RaMell Ross

Look like last night
the light hardly wanted

to leave—it hung
round in the pines

for what seemed hours
after the sun said

its goodbyes. Sometimes
can get hard

to just go, you know—
we stand around talking

not noticing the dark
rising up around

our feet.
Stand up & maybe

stretch & see
ourselves home. We

be a gas station dog
waiting for something

to fall, so we
can eat awhile

& sleep. When morning
decides to wake

maybe just this once
it’ll be late

& we can join the table
already set, like fate—

welcomed by the knives—
& just from the scent

of what someone we love
cooked for us

feel fed.


From “Breaking Bread, a special section in our Spring 2015 issue on the dynamics of hospitality, exclusion, and food justice.

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Kevin Young is the author of eight books of poetry, most recently Book of Hours. Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels won a 2012 American Book Award and Jelly Roll: A Blues was a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize. He teaches at Emory University in Atlanta.