Today's poem is by Karen Kevorkian
Once I Was in Wyoming
Once I was in Wyoming
Wind at night
tiny toenails of mice in the walls
so afraid of
stepping on one
or where they had been
always wearing shoes
even after a bath
unthinkable to touch
at dusk looking out the windows
at the not-too-distant
small brown rabbits
and in the daylight fear of snakes.
I would sit outside but always
no no not my feet in the air
Tell me this.
Why are lives so full? I don't mean
I mean like a bucket teeming with
the small jumping green
the wanting-to escape.
At noon I courted heat in the yard.
The small cedar tree
skull of a deer the few branches
of its antlers. I waited
for sun to burn leaves
from the hackberry wispy
papery things. All afternoon I would listen
hard. Wind in the tall grass by the road.
The aluminum gate chained to a cedar post
chattering. You had to yank it
free the chain. But the chain bound the post
so tightly I could barely. Then
more gravelly road but pretty soon
no more tall grass pretty soon
rocky fields. Brilliant feathers dead pheasant
loud announcement in the weeds. No trees
on the horizon
absurd as a shout. In the far away
hawks surging on
drifts of air. I filled my eyes
with what seemed like nothing.
Splitting cedar logs with an axe
the dark metal cleaving the red heart
squirrels writhing in the gray trees
leisurely as smoke
still an occasional red clot
in the withering brown
pain that disheveled
leaves bunched at the end of a dead limb
something easy for the wind.
Copyright © 2006 Karen Kevorkian All rights reserved
from White Stucco Black Wing
Red Hen Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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