From the collection: Awakenings
Our spring was the earthworms
groping out of the close loam,
across river-running asphalt
fresh-plastered everywhere the way
our Eastern Redbud cried
and we believed it
crossing the green-brushed marsh
the lusty living crying and croaking
and taking wing;
the sunshine promised our bare necks
the earthworms turned euphoric
how could we not
The New Jersey Swamp Slips Past the Glass
The ice-rimmed pools, the grey road,
the January of the horizon, question.
Where are you going? My grandfather had
a foundational faith that has gone wholly
uninherited. In the hospital, his delirium broke
once. He sat up suddenly, eyes clear like the sky
swift-scoured as the storm breaks. His voice
loud. He said, it’s so beautiful. And lay back down.
I wish I’d asked – what? He had showed me once
how to splice a rope so that its ends would not fray.
It’s so beautiful could mean so much,
or nothing at all. What is? What? DRIVE SAFELY,
say the letters on the storehouse wall. Ahead
the smokestacks breathe into the open sky.