Listen now to the harmonica’s frayed bridge
between plaintive verse and refrain.
This hour belongs to aching waking wanderers
with the bloom of question at the nucleus,
fog along the riverbank, the halting gait
of a fused knee. When sympathy or uplift
galls, lay your body down on rocks,
see your face in the window crack,
jagged along the profile.
It’s not enough to want, my dear. It’s not
enough to try. There’s not always
a reward for steadfast endeavor in this book
of cheap plots and deals. If you
put your trust in fair treatment, you may
dress your dreams in rue, and how then
to continue, how then to strive?
Against a stack of papers and numbers,
amidst the laughter and chatter, who is
a who distinct, who without the click
of luck tumbling the gears to open?
How to batten the young girl’s fervency
and pursuits? If the shrug takes over,
it may shape the spine to defeat. If you
believe you find your worth in the world’s
account, you become slave to the auction block.
I would have wished you’d learned
this disconnect later, in a season after plenty,
after many, after much, with reasons transparent
and reckoned, and you with a history of confidence
as your deep well, but I am only a mother
not the maker of your world. And you, you’re
launched and a little luckless now, now,
now, not to be ever, though why should you
believe that, smacked sideways, and your notion
of a future punched holey with a pen.
You are you, my darling, and there, true luck
resides. Set loose, untethered, where you go
and what you do is ever more your own.
El tiempo, es circulo
¿como la cara de su reputación?
Son negros y blancos, los momentos
de ahora y el pasado? Las líneas
finas son uniformes como si
la experiencia no dura y pasa
¿según la compañía y humor?
Es solo una cosa
con una historia detrás,
completa y inconclusa,
con las manos constantemente haciendo
semáforos de intermedio y aguante.
Creo que creemos en el, esperamos
que nos diga cuando, con un vistazo,
Así que no lleguemos demasiado tarde
Ode to the Clock
And time, is it really a circle
like the face of its reputation?
Are they black and white,
those moments of now and past,
as if experience does not last and pass
according to the company and mood?
It is only a thing
with a story behind it,
complete and inconclusive,
with the hands constantly
making semaphores of interval
and endurance. I believe we believe
in it, we look to it to tell us when,
with a quick glance, we hurry
so we won’t arrive too late.
Between his parents’ house and home, the Valley Ford road often floods
in winter, but the rain had just begun. We and the children and Bucky,
our five breaths’ fog, Miles Davis from the speakers, the steady windshield
wipers sweep. Sunday, coming home with our son and daughter
strapped in carseats and sleeping, the gift of two hours between,
the conversation or between, and the landscape shifting to cowfield,
sheepfield, in the quenched greening. When our daughter Anke woke
to hunger, young as she was, she could only cry. We pulled off onto the bluff
just beyond Two Rock; with the whole unfurling series of hillocks
and ad hoc creeks before us, I took her into the front seat with me,
and unbuttoned my blouse. Doug cracked the window to the sound and steam
of rain so Bucky could snuffle a snoutful of clover and cow pat,
Elijah slept on, and Anke, cradled in my arms, drank from me her fill.