A Clearing is a meditation of the everyday — both the joys and the losses observed in the natural world as they so closely mirror day-to-day human experience. There is a mystical edge to these poems that opens to deeper understanding of simple desire juxtaposed with the hard realities of homelessness, failed relationships, and loss in childbirth. A Clearing, Carson’s first full collection of poetry, alternates between tender, poignant portraits and a sharper, darker voice evoked by difficult life experiences. Seasons are metaphors for loss and hunger, leading readers to larger revelations about aging, violence and global conflict. These poems are short, gritty and provocative, asking the reader to look harder at their own lives and the world around them. With the poems in A Clearing, Carson explores how having the courage to let go of the things that bog us down can lead to a place where sun shines through the shadows.