Today's poem is by Joshua Robbins

Yardscape Diagram, Good Friday

Late-March, postlapsarian afternoon.
          In this season, metaphysical veins get tapped.

Sometimes like flesh-digging with a needle, uneasily.
          Sometimes like a single hammer blow, the nail

driven all the way through: illumination exploding
          into the world like the trumpeted heads of fuchsia,

the crocuses' purple song, paradise-edge
          of agapanthus and bacopa. It took weeks

to wrench-up and haul away the planking
          and joists from the worn-out redwood deck,

only a Friday to pour the porch's quick-dry
          cement slab. Like a side-fallen tombstone it waits

for the decorative ordination of potted flora
          I'll place just so, each clay pot

filled with a measure of earth, a measure of devotion.
          Clock-tick approaching the afternoon's fourth hour.

Diminished probability the sun will fully prick through
          the clouds, the sky's thin arteries that streak-erase

a dusk-at-hand blue to blank white.
          In light such as this, any upward progress

I've made seems otherwise, and the harsh incline
          of worldly purgation stretched-out beyond

my stride like an absolute. But even so,
          life journeys forward, composes its metaphors.

Sometimes of language transparent as flesh.
          Sometimes of language that settles like dust

slant into late-afternoon. Sometimes of light
          set off in the pear tree's white bloom,

piercing the gray matter, rushing into the soul.

Copyright © 2013 Joshua Robbins All rights reserved
from Praise Nothing
The University of Arkansas Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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