To My Mother
Coming across the gateway, you limped in pain
from all the sitting as though the thousands of miles
gnawed away your muscles and left you crippled.
But age and time even a plane can't cure.
You came and stayed awhile and then departed.
The zinnias strengthened their stalks and climbed
to their multicolored heads, tomatos ripened.
The grass browned in the sun. Nothing noticed.
And over the prairie at the end of June,
the wind carried dust on sheets of heat.
On the shore of your thigh in a thrill of light I woke.
That moment struck us apart and the distance widened
like a sail against the sky. The ocean blows.
Wind shifts the sand and leaves no stone.
The Boys, the Ball, and the Flicker
The flicker on top of the telephone pole eyes
the boys pitching ball in the park. Clank
of the ball on the metal bat, the ball's arc.
The bird sails down. That arc against the sky
times the boy's arrival with his mitt.
Instinctive geometers, flicker and boys.
Intersections of time and space, ease,
the bird's flawless parabola to the lawn.
Some things are clean, precise, uncomplicated.
Bursting anger, unappeasable, lashing.
My wife's loneliness, at times, despair.
The debts. The years piling up. Failures.
No cells in the brain help one intersect
the heart's curving fall, random, messy.