Going Home Again
Two Septembers gone, yet if I walked down
across the salt marsh to the floating dock,
the cord grass would be undulating, a breeze
combing its wavy brown hair, as constant
as the changing tides, or the Waving Girl
on River Street, welcoming seaport traffic.
Johnny can not walk without her walker.
What grows in my window box
I can not discern from the street.
The new owner may not be a gardener.
She may prefer the clean, empty hole.
Millie's chest. Cancer surgery.
I wonder about the Pink Perfection
planted outside the kitchen window.
The bottle brush tree is more a tree,
less the seedling I planted; the lavender
blue cloud of plumbago, diminished.
Lettye's jasmine is still neatly clipped.
On my side tendrils fall away from the fence.
Arthur's fall. Pneumonia. Taken to bed.
The Snowy Egret stands so still at the creek
he might be a painting on the mud flat
until his quick beak slices the water.
Crabs scuttle about feeding at low tide.
The Great Blue Heron sits fishing
for shrimp wriggling back into the creek
as the water drains homeward to the sea.
Too early in the day for the river otters
to be wallowing at their sleek black play.
They wait for sunset, for the white sails
of the three tethered tall ships to turn
the color of March azaleas and hawthorns.
Gerald. Broken hip. Moved to Azalealand.
Marsh hens clack to the drone
of the fiddlers. Raucous repetition.
Emma. Lila. Joe. All dead.
And some midnights Randal sits dressed, considers
waking to yet another daylight. World Trade Towers.
Customs meeting. His weekend military defense duties
failed him. No foxhole to shield him from raining bodies.
He used to carry a laughing pose of his two lovely daughters;
now he fingers inside his coat pocket twin buildings, burning.
|Pear Butter, Pear Preserves|
|Confederate Rose buds|
|Confederate Rose bush|
|Bleeding Hearts, Butterflies|
|Ginger Lilies, waning|