Today's poem is by Robert Wrigley


Under the deep needle thatch
more needles, and under those,
shanks of needles and darkly thinning hunks,
the ghost bones of had-been needles.
A slurry of carapace and papal shale,
a billion desiccate curds, pellet and turd,
and the vast imponderable leavings
I love to scratch through, a kind of subcontinent,
a wilderness domesticated by rot,
in which, every now and then, I unearth
and turn up once again to the sun
something that my eyes might cherish
more than the suckling mouths of microbes do—
this delicate white arch, for instance, the mandible of a vole;
this mummified pinfeather stub, its boutonniere
of down like the gray wiry hair in a god's ear;
or strangest of all, this odd isosceles triangle
made of interlocked paper clips and rust.
I dangle it on an autumn bare syringa twig
where a junco might find it and by any bird's standards
build with it a superior nest.

Copyright © 2010 Robert Wrigley All rights reserved
from Beautiful Country
Penguin Group
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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