old words

April 22, 2009

two poems i was proud of. maybe i still am.

“bike ride”

the mourning dove gives morning
its first rain-perfumed breath.

what specter on the log
its gaze steady with hunger
lifts to launch
in the potent half-dawn?

it draws all woodland eyes and ears
(the slow, smooth arc with thunderous flaps
echoes in the awestruck twitter
of chickadee and sleepy squirrel)

and i
the impostor
slip in
under this noisy distraction
and bend an ear to the still-yet-moving
self-fulfilling truth of nature
while the goose-trail on the stream blinks on and off and on.

whose soft skirt

there it was, but whose:
a form left wrapped in paper, left
to dusty grace, time’s loom,
the steady sag from each
redoubling circadian; wrapped
and beat over the doorstep. whose soft skirt:
dust of a hundred years, two lives,
six lovers, and an age’s creasing
a fixéd, bodied soul’s releasing
a heart that faltered
and steadier shoes
that flapped beyond the jamb.

the floor was cold in morning
when ghosts took up their residence
in curtains
and the folds that hide in air


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