blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



To One Lingering in the Trees

The beauty bush that never blooms waves
            in the yard and gods of all kinds die
every year of loneliness wandering down
into mountain valleys to look at themselves
in the Shenandoah or the Amazon and it's clear
            to all of us that you are not yet here.

Who knew we could need one more mouth
            to feed and to listen to and to love?
Lingerer, come on! Your mother and I
have already started to embarrass you
making love everyday. Every day this Spring
            we have called to you in the body's way.

Of calling that is careful and gentle
            we have invented three new ways!
Come on! Creature sprawled in the high
still trees of the jungle heaven must be,
wake up and swing down to us. Come on.
            I will buy you a seersucker suit.

Your mother will keep your favorite cigars
            in a mason jar and I will help sometimes
to encourage you when you mow the yard.
It is only three quarters of an acre but
we have twenty-nine redbud trees, wild
            raspberries and today I planted

the rooty burlap of a hemlock in the yard
            if you are homesick and need to climb
the high branches and look at the world from
some distance and remove both of which
we all need sometimes. I've written these lines
            to tempt you and your mother says

she loves you and it is true her eyes send light
            so warm and clear the sunlight you know
and are used to—you will find shining here
when she looks at you. Look! She is making
a sandwich with peanutbutter and bananas.
            It is delicious. You'll love it. Come on.  

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