Going Last

Wyatt Townley

Nobody likes going first.  But
it’s less bad than going last.

Whoever goes last
will find in the wilderness of every room
a thousand tracks.

A book left open, a pen
put down.  Change on the table
and shoes at the end of their walk.   

Whoever goes last must recover
in the footprints of grief
the love that made them. 


Wyatt Townley

Wyatt Townley is Poet Laureate of Kansas Emerita. Her poems have been read on NPR, featured in American Life in Poetry, and published in journals including North American ReviewThe Paris Review, and The Yale Review. Her latest book is Rewriting the Body from Stephen F. Austin University Press. 

Header image: Jean Wimmerlin