Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April 2nd

-and forget your own people and your father’s house-

those pine branches sweeping down across
the road in winter, black ice rims over water
maples, beeches, whitened birch and hollows
sunk ankle deep in dying leaves

that road was dirt once, cool and smooth
each time ending at the outflow, through
the corrugated pipe, out and under the brick
wall and away into the woods
that corner of the lake small, cold, glimpsed
through the leaves in summer

no further, one way or the other, each ending
at the highway encircling the wide edge
of the lake, where the cemetery was laid
in deep to the hill-
beyond were the towns.

looking back, i saw the long greensward
of home white architecture lifted and that
narrow path i’d trod head down to the task

i saw the sisters holding fast in hope
day dreams fragrant as cranberry blossom
woven into years of childhood
coming to fruition right on that
threshold but

i walked past the stately door thrown open
to the warm sun as all my friends were filtering in
that fall i couldn’t write my name in the lists
i was unraveling that taught restoration
and there was no explanation
possible to bridge the gap increasing
each day although love
wordless made a way later

when i was a girl, i dreamed
sixty fathoms under, rose brier
hearing music sung by flaming tongues
above in the willow and crimson on
the mountainside in autumn

you called me through the hedges
around the water, beyond the dead
and set me before a burning landscape
with every tendril of my hair,
tongue, fingertips tracing glowing ember

still through the cracks showed black
bent wires like elbows not fitting in
the darkness the fire had yet to consume

i thought i would do such great things for you