blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



From the Undergrowth
                          after Akhmatova

New roses flush in the serein
As a black cat stretches for the rake

With its uncertain lean, not far enough—
Good luck, she thinks, like a glimpse

Of a jewel in the sand or
For anything about to happen

But not tied to a load of bricks, a wall of questions
Requiring of her a vision with a locksmith's precision.

She thinks reserve brings the cries of love
Nearer-to-hand, rooted. Whose voice

Beside the cricket's in the lavish growth
Of wild ivy and sunset makes her drowsy, and

Incidentally, lucid with faith
Again? Whose virtue made sooth

Inside her? Credence sinks for the night ahead
When a slivered moon launches a boat for the waves'

Un-spooling in the wind,
The subtlest pearl hers alone to tell. 

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