Dodging sprinklers that green grass,
I cross the street, scanning for traffic.
Half a block down, a cat-sized mound
dots the center line. Two crows argue
above in the trees. Cars zip
between me and the mound,
which ruffles black in tires’ breeze–
One car, two pass. Contemplation
from the ground and above.
Not cat nor crow, but a wig
animated in abandon. We nod,
continue with our ways.
In the kitchen, I make a grocery list.
Windows flung open,
cats bake in the sun outside.
The air around me hums.
Cats run in,
bones in my head vibrate
A hummingbird is in the house.
Whirring overhead, beak clicking
into glass, whirring, clicking.
I crawl to the door, open it
Zipping out, it perches atop the maple next door.
Conversation swirls around the bloodmobile,
an iodine swab cleans my arm.
Phlebotomists discuss lunch
over my head as my blood drips
into a plastic bag.
“Vietnamese, Chinese, what’s the difference. Soup.”
I chew on a poem Sharon Olds wrote.
I suck and savor, pull the marrow
out of its bone
with my mouth,
Slide her words
over my tongue.
Sunny pink pom poms
fall, becoming dry brown fists
to fill compost bins.
Spring’s announced by knocks.
Wooden poles in the alley,
Removed bit by bit.
Jasmine on spring’s breeze
Fills our house with sweet perfume,
nights full of longing.
Now it hangs on the back of the kitchen chair
where I always sit, as it did
on the back of the kitchen char where he always sat.
I put it on whenever I come in,
as he did, stamping
the snow from his boots.
I put it on and sit in the dark.
He would not have done this.
Coldness comes paring down from the moonbone in the sky.
His laws were a secret.
But I remember the moment at which I knew
he was going mad inside his laws.
He was standing at the turn of the driveway when I arrived.
He had on the blue cardigan with the buttons done up all the way to the top.
Not only because it was a hot July afternoon
but the look on his face–
as a small child who has been dressed by some aunt early in the morning
for a long trip
on cold trains and windy platforms
will sit very straight at the edge of his seat
while the shadows like long fingers
over the haystacks that sweep past
keep shocking him
because he is riding backwards.
We talk of her origins, humble.
Her election to power, the riots,
songs inspired by unbending ways.
The Iron Lady, not a token,
No, she would not go gentle
We avert our eyes in her latter years,
descent to dementia, the fading.
Iron won’t bend, but melts.
Did she gaze in the glass at her softened face,
Cling to mettle or release her hold? Did she
Rage, rage against the dying of the light?
Suggestive, smoldering look, brush of fingertips, desire
Turn of phrase, lines of poetry, dreaming the key to unlock Everything
Magic thoughts, trees bend and make the wind, one girl’s wishing makes them stop
Lawyer, writer, righter of wrong, life’s purpose shimmering on the hot tar, is