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Today's poem is by Jeanne Emmons

Gray Day with Morning Glories

The rain kept on coming down and down,
so the morning glories all day long
stayed open, like hundreds of portholes
through which the cloudy sky's thwarted
blue found entry and, crisp and illicit, thrust
itself into the day's gray. In the birdbath
circles and circles interlocked, and the apple tree
was weighed down to the green grass, its leaves
knocked by drops. The asphalt reflected
traffic lights in streaks of green and red
like spilled paint, and over the streets
the water washed, carrying oil and tired grit
into the gutters and sewers and fast-moving river.

Lovers ran barefoot on sidewalks and laughed
and caught drops upon the tips of their tongues
and kissed one another, and their smooth, young
bodies were as alive as bees beneath the wet skin
of their clothes. And between their wings,
the birds in the trees hunched and did not swoop
down to the birdbath, because it was a cool
day in August, full of rain and clouds and lowly
earthworms on pavement. And the morning glories
were like the girls with their heads thrown
back and their mouths open to catch the rain.
All day long they bloomed. And then the light
sank down and they twisted themselves up
tight as wrung-out sheets, tight as hand-rolled
cigarettes, and they smouldered on the trellis all night.



Copyright © 2002 Jeanne Emmons All rights reserved
from Wisconsin Review, Winter 2002
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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