A Year in the South
Spring nights waiting out the others then
Leaving separately to reconvene at an hour too
Late for my age brought the years hammering down—
But she was, was, was, said my name name name
Till the walls rattled and my dog tried to get through
The bedroom door worried I was being hurt.
End of summer and the blossoms of the crepe myrtle fall,
Brown as dirt the some once red and some once purple in the sky.
After days on the concrete drive, the rain cannot sweep them away—
A month ago, I stood on a ladder with an old saw
Of my dead father’s and made up this song of cutting:
“Tree of spotted wood, your branch I take for my beauty.”
Out of Doors
Fair enough the leaves and light have made me blind
This autumn morning the birds have abandoned. Nothing
Knots my scarf, and what at first I could not see
Outlines itself in the shadows of the trees—harvest bones,
The scarecrow in my clothes. The wind is no friend.
Nothing takes care of me. Inside my head old songs repeat.
The winter auguries came down obvious as an oak
Branch ahead or two baby roaches afloat in a sip of liquor
At the bottom of last night’s glass—
Or the crow that appeared in my yard after she left,
Pointing its black flag of a broken wing in the ivy.
Like me it was noisy in its outrage and demise.
All This Everything
Curbside on collection day
Not one but two three-
Legged chairs like a pair
Of three legged dogs
Beside the sled
Of a warped table;
A TV, a rolled rug,
A one armed love seat,
A year’s collection of
Religious videos for children,
And a hand painted sign
“take what you want.”
All my uncle’s are dead. I have no early
Plane to the coast, nowhere to go ‘cept
Back to the old country of sleep. Pretty momma,
Don’t wake me. I don’t have to work today.
Man said I don’t need to come in anymore
If I was going to be the way I was.