Foxes and Magnolias

Leaves rattle down like rain; they brown and crumple against street curbs and leave me longing for something I may have never lost.

And the rosehips someday, too

He brought me flowers today

from the little market,

though growing-

red and green and plum,

some yellow

 

and I couldn’t help but think

how they’d soon be dead,

soon have leaves and petals

dried and curling,

 

and all the pines I saw

across the hills,

I couldn’t help

but think of them dead,

someday, too.

 

 

 

When driving the canyon:

a truck

with a hundred trees, or so.

I wanted to stop him,

tell him to put them back.

Amongst Other Little Things

I saw little feet hanging at the edge of a stroller,

little black shoes in sunlight,

passing,

 

Tuesday sparrows spilling songs

from nests

above.

 

Everything suddenly was.

April Never Used To Be So Cold

Today two feet of snow

laying heavily over trees,

pines drooping with bulky branches,

snow sliding to their ends and cascading,

sudden and frequent.

 

Black walnut trees fractal

skyward and sideways,

willow vines draping like narrow chutes.

 

Sweet man of mine

drove me through

and down

mountain roads,

six something in the morning

worried for me to do it alone,

worried of ice, of sloppy streets

with too much winter

for me-

 

the roads plowed, of course, already,

melting already

from where the streets held sun

in yesterday’s spring.

You wrote me once, in apology

Long shadows lean

over long streets

like a memory,

already,

like the way I loved you,

once.

 

The lake was still frozen this morning

I thought it should have thawed by now,

sun laying softly

over the hard of water

like the way I think of you,

still:

soft sun in fragile spaces.

By The Small Pine At The Edge of Yard

Maybe it was a prairie dog or a ground hog

showing from under the snow

as it began to melt

 

The dogs discovered it this morning

slightly mauled, its hair planed

and clumped in wet directions.

 

Jake threw it on the other side of fence

to rot out of reach,

the dogs sitting in soft whine

tails wagging

at their loss.

Oranges for Breakfast

There was a bag of oranges

in the kitchen this morning

 

seven or eight of them

ripe, but the peel just beginning to dry-

you can tell by the way the light is matte over its edges,

how the pores of the peel have deepened

and though still smooth when dragging a finger across it:

a coarseness, hardly detectable.

 

The rind rips tiny segments of fruit

from the larger whole,

the white pith sticking in small patches and strips.

 

A pile of misshapen remnants

over a red ceramic plate

 

and I muse at how

they are left to decay, prospectively.

Sequential

There we were, the younger four,
at the time,
trudging behind you through thick snow
falling and fallen
with coats and mittens and boots all too big or too small,
all hand-me-downs
of yours.


Through the gaps in hats and scarves and such,
such young skin,
not dry or oily, just youth
and red from winter.


To thaw,
after pressing angels in ground
or building snowmen
or falling distant into trees down the road-
I’m not sure, any more, which it was,
I watched the way
you made hot chocolate:


milk in a pot brought to steam over the stove,
warm, but not hot enough to burn,
and when warm
enough,
stirring the chocolate slowly.


Your mother must have taught you this.


I had never seen it done that way-
always, before,
mugs set in the microwave until hot
and a packet, each,
of cocoa mix
quickly whisked in.


You, the oldest of cousins,
must have made a few dollars
to spend the day with us,
us- four and five and six and seven
years younger than you.
I realize this now,
it didn’t feel that way then.


I imagine in Januarys, you-
not as a cousin or sibling,
but as a mother, now,
steaming milk in pots on the stove,
your daughter sitting on counter ,
her legs dangling over the edge
in watching.
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