As I pull the white snakeroot from around the cow tank
the choirboys come sand shoe scuffing:
What they want, they won’t say.
As I bend I show the lazing wester sun my beads of sweat,
my mudhen’s pride. I need not rise.
The woods once green and full of poke weed--
not yet poison-blood fruited--and turkeys and such.
But now brown herringboned feathers and acorns
and dusty boughs litter the ground: the boys are gone.
A flutter in the mallow and the lavender mother comes,
dressed in rags like a Cloutie well,
sighing through her roots, her eyes~~
thrumming the air with jewelweed notes sung
soft as London lace chemises tucked deep in black walnut wardrobes.
The hawthorn swells red with berries and the finches~~
Beaks & sweet queried notes & wine dipt feathers
change places against the bark:
A promise of both surfeit and bleak night.
I hear your whistle in some upswept locust limbs.
Am I your touch piece, perhaps,
Your coppery silted delta,
Plugged in your pocket as you wend
Far river wide.
The sky goes bluing, a hazy ice moon rising,
Circled the way I do you
In my dreams,
As I would loose your collar
And close my eyes to bring my lips,
Where first I kissed your neck,
There, below that soft sable of hair
Warm skin for the asking,
For the want of asking,
For the silence of small stars