wind blows through the trees, birds, hidden
flutes, chant along the hollows, water clambers over stone
secreted in a rustic wooden gazebo, I lie on my side |
gently rocking, in a hammock
insects make brisk rounds on the floor, advancing, retreating—
tiny tanks on some inscrutable maneuver
a squirrel eyeballs me, shakes his tail as if
gathering steam, then spews out a geyser of decrees
a brassy hum rattles down from the college co-op
house, a radio on a window ledge belts out rock in Spanish
my son and his friends chit-chat as they prepare
the feast—corn on the cob, skewers of chicken and vegetables
someone is making biscuits, another mixes a flan
pots, pans, utensils all clang together in joyous disarray, like bells
on hilly streets nearby, cars, trucks and buses come
and go, making their distinctive screeches
above the trees, a bird shrieks twice, then spits out a stream
of raspy clacks I don’t recognize—
and I wonder—what is its name—although
perhaps, we can’t ever learn the real names for anything
again, I’m pulled to the scrolling of wind on leaves, the music
of the river—I had forgotten how much alike they sound
content as a fat spider, I float in knotted twine
reading poems of Wang Wei, swaying between worlds
Missing Our Queen
A cow-shaped deodorizer for the refrigerator? Plastic swan that holds not one, but two toilet brushes? Hot water bottle with a faux wooly cover shaped like a sheep? When we opened her presents, none of us dared look at each other.
Sweatshirt with blossoms of natty purplish-orange, set off by lime-green sequined foliage. Resplendent fake gold kleenex holder, filigreed, with matching wastebasket. A fluorescent veggie string for the tree. Wind chimes of shiny chic bananas.
Should I be the one this year to pass along the ballerina whose hot pink tutu shelters the extra roll of t p. Or the yellow plastic purse with the snap-on daisies. To whom should I give the backscratcher with a lizard on it, the hippo whose mouth becomes a pencil sharpener.
Who among us could have the flair to assume Mother’s role—Her Royal Highness, the Queen of Chintz. Pass the cranberries and canned pineapple floating in dream whip, with its gagload of tiny marshmallows, and praise the Lord.
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