The sky is neither here, nor there, a pale
blue, few high clouds, the streak of a chalk-
board just erased-- Birds busy themselves,
gossip in the hedgerow, while I doze in the shade.
The afternoon spends its gold coin. Cardinals
thread the trees, red, red, while a mockingbird
glides across the lawn, epaulets flared. The air
stretches and warms; you could pull it
like molasses taffy. I no longer have bones.
My spine fits this Adirondack chair like clay
poured in a mold. I want to be neither here,
nor there. Birds hum me to sleep.
LANDSCAPE IN WINTER
Late November, six lane interstate, but what you notice
most are the road-killed deer, lying like crumpled
rugs along the berm. Here, a shoulder, there, a leg,
a crumple of fur, a smear of blood-- What makes
it bearable is the fog, which softens the scene, draped
over the road like streamers on a Christmas tree.
Up ahead, a long strand of brake lights, a swag of beads
on a wooden banister. In the other direction, a twinkle
of headlights, stars in their own constellations.
Like the light in my mother's kitchen, that safe haven,
where the darkness of my father's anger couldn't penetrate.
She's opening the oven door, taking out gingerbread, its breath
of cloves, ginger, molasses thick in the air like the skin
on cream. Outside, snow is falling, lightly, gently,
like this fog muffling up the highway, erasing
the blood on the road. The lights in each lane keep
signaling their braille.