Today's poem is by Matthew Ladd


The land is glorious. It glories alone
under the crumbling gas lamps of its road:
road strewn with tar and lilac-shouldered,
in praise of the night and the land that bore it.

Now — an ode to the infancy of some bright state
that threw its failures alongside the yews and bid
its sons and daughters belong to the unmaimed surfaces,
their plaintiveness — now wilder with what little past remains.

Of what is past remaining, but remains to pass again:
a few discolored chickens, washed by the winter months'
rain, crouch. Tuned to the stern and coming orgasm
of land shaken, hard, out of its long reminiscing.

Rooster myth. Myth tucked beneath the tongues
of dead cattle. Ripped-up pastures resown, sobered
northwest-southeast Ape. Whose muscles purr
and sing under the skin, whose mandibles are set
in profound faces.
                          Of glorious land stretched out, ready,
of glorious raw land.
Apes come home.

Copyright © 2004 Matthew Ladd All rights reserved
from Margie
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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