You Girl with the Rope in Your Teeth
Only a shard of white glass moon
and two stars traveling on either side of it
pass in this dark sky that should be dawning.
The clock sings seven, and still no sun.
Who is this person,
waiting in my chair by the window
finally without a rope held in her mind-teeth,
belated light across the sky?
When did she relinquish control of jobs not in her sphere?
Oh, the agony of being in charge of it all,
dropping all mistakes and regrets
into buckets labeled ‘Failures’
each time the weather, the outcome, the decision
I am leaving you behind,
you girl with the rope in your teeth.
I’m putting aids on my eyes and ears and heart
This place where you are right now,
God circled on a map for you.
This chair by the window?
This emotional space, this port-of-call?
Let it be.
Just now a pink line divides the ground from
a bluing sky
All in good time:
Universal Blank Verse at 4:00 a.m.
Beyond the glass, against the upper pane
backlit leafless limbs
of hawthorn twigs
tangle, twist in wind, like all you’ve known:
and the places you have loved.
You turn to ease the ache of lying still;
the dog turns too,
and she reclaims her spot
against the tender bend
behind your knees.
Give us understanding
as snow plows pace the pavement of the street,
grinding teeth on asphalt, chomping ice.
Briefly I sleep and dream of scented warmth;
camellias drop and I’m a child again.
Nightfall in Montgomery
In a summer street
of children and bikes
the radio plays West Side Story
and we draw hopscotch grids
The dusk still lingers
all these years later
–dusk blue and still
with no wind moving
where bathrobed women
From the Beach