“The Right Ratio”

A Poem by David Lehman

December 22, 2021  By David Lehman

The birds in a V-pattern
and the denuded tree with a dozen mighty branches
skeletal against the light blue sky
three varieties of purple in the distance
as the sun sets, and the birds exchange notes.
My dog Johnny falls asleep at my feet
on the terrace. I sip my drink and think:
just as having an even tiny portion of your portfolio
in bonds can help your long-term performance,
so even a few drops of dry vermouth
will improve your martini.

Article continues below


Freeman's logo

The preceding is from the Freeman’s channel at Literary Hub, which features excerpts from the print editions of Freeman’s, along with supplementary writing from contributors past, present and future. The latest issue of Freeman’s, a special edition gathered around the theme of change, featuring work by Joshua Bennett, Sandra Cisneros, Lauren Groff, Sayaka Murata and Ocean Vuong among others, is available now.

Article continues below

More Story
WATCH: Robin Wall Kimmerer, John Hausdoerffer, and Gavin Van Horn on Our Kinship With the Living World On September 21, 2021, Robin Wall Kimmerer, John Hausdoerffer, and Gavin Van Horn joined us to celebrate the release of the 5-volume...

Become a Lit Hub Supporting Member: Because Books Matter

For the past decade, Literary Hub has brought you the best of the book world for free—no paywall. But our future relies on you. In return for a donation, you’ll get an ad-free reading experience, exclusive editors’ picks, book giveaways, and our coveted Joan Didion Lit Hub tote bag. Most importantly, you’ll keep independent book coverage alive and thriving on the internet.