this a.m.

cleaning frenzy downstairs the ruckus
of laundry and drowning perfume

birds dart tree to tree unable to settle
on this branch or that much less thought

but the pair of ducks on the neighbor’s roof-
peak: they stand, step closer together,

pause, step again, coyly dip their heads—
my half-cup of coffee still warm

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April Gifts

i.

the cardinal sudden like words
from a friend, bright unexpected
against leafless sky, same sweet
song and soul-balm

ii.

not faith but a kind of pride, your belief
every day should offer something
like this dirt finally warming,
hand-crumbled, enough?

iii.

if the pansies survive
this record cold, it is no god’s bow
to the balance due, nor even
to your impatience

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on the end of poetry

(lakeside)

and it turns out water
is only water. it may slosh
and splash, undulate, crash
and okay, sparkle, shimmer
gleam gold. or gray
in shadow, green in light
right down to the rocks
it caresses, rounding
here, near the shore—
or out there, sucking sand.
see, the dog will flail and swim
kicking up white froth, biting hard
at each wave (they never cease)
long tongue licking water
long-legged deliberate splash.
(no creature more prosaic
than a dog) so here I sit, done
with words. why bother noting
it dazzles? the boats drone on
and past, in deeper blue
seagulls scatter

may pond, 2&3

17 may

which will I remember for you—
grass-grown gravel track away
from constant surge and pass of cars
in bright sunshine; eight ducklings
tumbling in still water beneath the bank;
willow’s huge grateful shade; one tractor
loud-plowing this last possible acre
among apartments, hospital, shopping mall

*

18 may

all ducklings aground
in hidden huddled shelter;
gust-ruffled water

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