What if the story’s like a piece of wood
that drifts to shore. What if it’s like
a fairy tale where logs float back to land,
become a tree. What if it seems to live, this tree.
It seems to move. It seems to stretch its branches out—
like magic wands the sun wants back…
But suppose the story’s not about a tree
at all, suppose it tells a tale that wants a slow
and skeletal danse macabre,
one played as a rehearsal for our common time,
and child-proof too,
and one that’s carcass inappropriate…
I am the planet’s drift. Today I am
a spiny plant, a flowing spike. Today I am
the king and clown of color, the blue the sky
could be, as morning light drifts back to earth.
You can see it through my open window—
like welcome gifts the dear ones bring.
The story sees me as a hydrotropism,
not an intensity. It sees me as the place
where osmosis has conquered gravity,
not how spring has prepared life for spring rain,
and not for the story’s demise. It simply sees
all the worlds that end in stories, nothing more.
So summer comes as a surprise each year.
The heat, the cows across the pasture, the dear ones,
the night’s saloon burned off too soon, the brunt
of bare feet conquered with such low regard—
all the worlds that end with a story. They
could be about the summer sun, a tide of solar wind.
Which is the drift. Some vatic lines. Poetry
as stuff… Still, it remains a sad time to breathe
each year, this cycle of summer, in summer’s heat,
this time of the dear ones:
the story began,
the story barren,
the story childless again.