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.