A stitch in time 


If I seek out small pebbles on the beach or watch out for rose petals on the motorway, am I a realist or a loon?


As I lie in the mud, its motherly warmth, good dirt

my enisle feet at the end of my trunk legs,

I see I have a body, an edifice for 


all the wild dreams and reality fixes

as if, after decades of spooking and self-haunting, I

took flesh again with mud on my face to prove it


a dead marriage resurrecting amid yellow and green

weeds and blades of grass finer than a peacock’s plumage

whispering skin onto my bones, my muck now burrowing


in the palms of your hands as you try and pull me onto 

the legs I had long passed over let’s sit in the mire for a while

you stop, you dig in, your fingers plough and pluck out stones,


an earthworm wiggles away. Everything speaks

but trees are storytellers where clouds tell fortunes

while high winds stroke by and birds can tell where to 


head once they hear the call of the blackberry bush.

In there, bugs go into the trouble with thorns.

Mostly, the clay says nothing, busy bedding 


someone like me or mulching petals, something

the motorway couldn’t do, deadened as it is. 

If no one lives in a house, is it cold too? And what’s 


the obsession with clean lines among palace owners? 

We really need to stop landscaping everything and everybody. 

You smile, your bright eyes, and quit sanitizing. 


Let’s roam home. On the way, a spread of roots, leaves, litter

and a nutshell / I am a princess / and now

the legs fill the dress. You mention tea, I think China and

dolls and leaving them on the cooling stove, about

the great fire in the heart of things. Sitting in front of it,

I notice you shivering and pull you close. We forget


all that we have, my neck nods, my fingertips rosy again

with the last few slurps of leftover soup, until

something, goes wrong, the crackle of the logs 


mellows. How yellow the buttercups beyond the veranda, 

you’d sleep soundly in them you lean back and they’d 

always have you. A blanket in time, a tidal dance.

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