In "Sonya Tolstoy Grieves for a Son," however, while candles and incense soothe, they cannot erase the pain of a child's death: "I inhale a sedative draft of wax / and incense, sweet fragrance of flowers. / Candlelight washes across my son's face. / Warmth of his breath aches through prairies / of day and night vigils, towards cessation . . ." Givans's nature is searching, and all is precariously balanced in his world: "The treetops are delicate as dandelion clocks; a breath / might feather their leaves to the distant liquid / horizon where sycamores red-tongue the sky" (p. 64).
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