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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watching the neighbors

dreaming crabapple, pomegranate-bright
paired cardinals, redbud, tulips bobbing
in tattered sunlight—I see people—
outside!—discussing the trim of a tree

strange

how nothing in pendant birch-pods
questing tendril peas nor even flight of bees
suggests an asteroid skimming past
only five times farther than the moon

 

…but it happened…asteroid info here.

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reparable

moss
the lesson, if it could be
so simple: see how
the cobble-moss is tough
(we walk and wheelbarrow it
over) yet so easy to uproot
(even without intention)
to rake it out and away

arbor
we say it can be
no older than the house
(so younger than Us)
but see how it rots
where wood meets earth
and the fitting-together gives
until a strong wind (or mere gust
from the right direction)
threatens to topple it

patching it up
hammer and stake, a length
of twine, and this time
no need to make a fuss
if it holds

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In Like a Hawk

sudden, you were there—or
sudden, I caught sight of you
there, in the crabapple, too large,
proud, still, as it swayed and bobbed

feeders wild-gyrate in the wind
that lifted your chest feathers
like an impertinent hand
(that blaze of white!)

but majesty is ever unruffled
and if there is a king of birds
in this yard, your calm red eye
sleek head turning, turning claims it

fixing my restless form
in these shadows behind glass,
behind curtains, hold-not-holding
my breath and how long I gaze
but turn away first, wondering

what sign, omen, message
did you bring: that I should keep watchful?
be patient, unmoved? make eye contact
and my presence known, then fly on
when no one’s looking

Guesswork

twenty-five years since I wrote what I know
about your ear, and the scar by your eyebrow—
what has changed now? not predicting what you’ll say
or the plaid and check shirts in shades of blue; not
my assuming the promise of your arms but

I hardly know myself in a photo ten years old
nor remember the clothes, shoes, hair—
what I might have said there to tide another day
and another, these eroding surfaces
we call trust, comfort, habit, love

what endures? and if the core remains
unknowable? yet as worth writing about
as when we were new to ourselves, to each other