Saturday, August 03, 2013
Wings Upon The Snow
It wasn't like it to rain this late in the year. She stood
by the door and watched the water hitting he porch and
the galvanized tub sitting on the hood of the car. The
dog stuck his nose out of the door, got hit by a few
raindrops, snorted and went back inside. It was
Tony's car out there in the yard. He had left it there
four days ago, the evening after he had climbed up on
the porch roof and rapped on her window pane. They
had talked in whispers for almost an hour, their hands
touching each other's bodies and finding places on them
they wanted to do more with. He had left in a hurry,
pulling his clothes around him and scooting to the
window when they heard her parents pickup rolling up
the gravel. "Tell them I let you borrow my car," he said.
"I can't just drive it away." Meet me in three days at the
store." She had nodded a yes and jumped back into her
bed just as her mom and dad were coming up the stairs.
The next morning she told them the story. She had told
Tony she needed a car to go over to Ralston to register
for summer classes. He had dropped it off for her. It
went off without a hitch. They had believed her.
The rain started the next morning and hadn't stopped
since. The creek was already full and had come into the
chicken coop, almost up to the roosts. The water had
risen half-way up the tires of Tony's blue chevy Malibu.
That car wasn't going to move for awhile yet. She hoped
Tony would know that. No phone. No Internet. Nothing
out here. Just rain. Just how he felt when her arms un-
wound themselves from his body and he slid off of hers
and disappeared out of the window.
For now there was just rain. She turned to get a cup of
coffee and accidentally called the dog "Tony".
No one else was home.
A QUIET MOMENT
She has gone to be with her imagination,
To where the hills are red and yellow
With maple leaves, the skittering pips
Brought by wrens and finches and sparrows
Begging for room between the leaves.
I can read her in her house, inside
The letters that she makes and strings
Together like frost fairies on the
Autumn panes of glass, a little
Way from the whirling heart
That tells of the unease it knows
In coming upon doors in walls
No longer true and empty rooms
That once were full as a skull
With the best of the enormous days.
Now the hills are white, the bushes
Struggle toward higher than the windows
And everything, of a morning, has become
Wild and dressed in scarves and
The shouts of children that have
Suddenly become songs and she
Had to go to be with the principle
Of the thing, the curved bit that dreams.
THE CROWN AND THE OWL
I picked up the crown
And took it to a high place
Where I could see the owl
Lean down from the trees
To open the snow, then go
Back to the deep wood.
White on white on a pure
And the crown was heavy
In my hands, cloaked in sunsets
That pulsed red as the blood
In my arms as I held it.
A charm for time
Who cannot be charmed,
Who dances at the weddings,
Who dances at the coming
Of the dark, who opens wide
His mouth and lives upon
The spark of our bright bodies
As they crave more of his kisses,
Splashed with the conversation,
We believe we are having.
Trembling as time touches
Our most intimate parts
Saying "Go collect the crown.
Take it to the high places.
Wear it as if you will never
Know another thing as bright
As this, not a million raindrops
In the moonlight, not the
Mica shine of wings upon the snow."
These must be swans then
That come so far across the lake.
So white, so white with beaks
As black as darkness thrown
From a great height.
They come just as the red-violet
And distant purples flood
The surface of the place.
The water holding their bodies
Filled with such a clamor
The moon gets jiggled far
Below and becomes a difficult
Silver that carries them toward
Our darkening shore.
Oh that I should see them forevermore
Like this, touched everywhere
By the song of swans blazing
As they do, swimming toward me
Across this violet, dreaming lake.
A MOMENT OF CROW TALES
The crows have undone the moment.
They have left the high rooms,
Tearing the curtains as they fled.
They have been summoned to testify
In congress, for they have seen
The lovers undone, made blind by desire,
Fall from the arms of their spouses
And toward each other
Past the tower rooms
Full of strange and powerful glowing.
They were seen to entwine
And, never touching the ground,
Find some other air
That might bear the heat
And weight of their fire.
Neither had expected anything
Like this to occur, and thought
No one witness to this flight
Until the crows came forward
Clacking their beaks and croaking
Crow stories about this event:
"A miracle, miracle, but not mere
Abandonment, but the vacating
Of one heart for another."
A PATH UNVEILED
Leaning out over the parapet I saw
The last of the gulls go by. They glowed
In near neon colors, talking that way they do
When they think no one is listening.
Far below them they can hear a car radio
And think it is the voice of the wind declaring
They must find a place to rest as night collects
Itself, stumbling over its darkening robes,
Tossing whatever colors it has left into the ring,
Hoping there is someone to hold them,
Tell them they are loved, that they are still,
Like the breath held inside the lungs for a long time.
The gulls change in the light of a crooked
Moon. They touch its nether tips and allow it
To continue its sweet path across the water.
It began to come clear that
No one was going to wake up from this one.
There was a movement in the wind
That lifted the curtains and it seemed
Comforting and full of possibilities.
The cat stepped directly on his eye
As he was sleeping. This would do it.
This would change the whole thing.
When he opened his eyes, the curtains
Were still doing the same thing.
—Medusa, with thanks to D.R. Wagner for today's poems and pix!