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Posts Tagged ‘ohio’

on tiptoe
we approach the pond
where we do not
disturb the wood duck
who is not there

*

blue violets in the path—
one more reason
to wish for wings

*

the twin leaf flower
lives only a day—
I try to not
regret all the beauty
I will never see

*

on tiptoe
we approach the next pond
where we do not
disturb the wood duck
who is not there

*

pulling away dead leaves
we find the ginger flower—
under what is said
the ever blossoming
what is

*

trillium, trillium,
violet, don’t step there
trillium, trillium
blood root, spring beauty,
may apple, trillium, trillium

*

oh fuck it
a woman has got to step
somewhere

*

who let that voice
into this poem?
trillium, trillium, violet

*

on tiptoe between violets
we approach the next pond
where we disturb
the wood duck
still the pleasure of tiptoe

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See, he says
with a wave of his hand,
how to this side
the trees are slender
and on this side
how large they all are.
We can imagine,
he says, that a post road
went through here
and on one side of it
the forest was cleared.
On the other is old growth.
I look, and agree, though
now there is no hint
besides the trees
that this was once
a well traveled way.
I think of all the people
who have walked
through my life,
how invisible their paths
are now. Can anyone else
see the ways I’ve been marked?
Some brought invasive seeds.
Some made light.

*

We hear it
long before we see it—
zee zee zee zoo zee.
A trout lily
bows by the stream.
Open, its six yellow petals peal back.
zee zee zee zoo zee.
Do you know why it’s bowed?
Paul asks me.
I like that he will know the answer.
Inside, he says, are all the sex organs,
and they do not want to get wet.
zee zee zee zoo zee.
He explains
one way other flowers
stay dry is to learn to close up
whenever things get dark.
Now that’s smart.
I think to myself,
Rosemerry, learn to bow.

*

What is this drive
toward opening?
Here: white trilliums
and anemone, pink spring beauties
and ten thousand
blue and yellow violets
all unfold in a mass
affirmation of life
longing for itself.
The beech leaves are
so intent on unfurling
that their bud scales are bursting
and fall from the canopy
like coppery rain in our hair.
zee zee zee zoo zee.
Even this damp land
beneath our feet
is still opening—a widening canyon
carved over 340,040 years
by water moving toward the sea.
One day, we’ll be put
into this earth forever.
For now, there’s this
bird to find, there’s this
drive toward opening.

*

And there it is,
the black-throated green warbler.
It’s yellow. Though I can’t tell
from this distance
to where its silhouette flits
high in the trees.
a tiny, bobbing silhouette.
I thrill to see it,
but the bird is not why I am here.
I have no list to check.
I don’t know why I am here.
Except that it feels good
to walk in the woods
amongst hemlock and beech
and wild cherry and to hear
the stories about how it is.
How the barberry came
and never left. How the
Henslow’s Sparrow ushers
in the summers here, tsi-lick, tsi-lick,
tsi-lick.
How the male toads,
when they’re ready to mate,
will grip onto your finger
and not let go. How quietly
someone might walk into your life
and change the landscape,
another invisible road.

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Columbus

Beside the highway,
magnolias bloom.
Mile after mile of pink
and white cups catching light,
and beneath each tree
a trail of fallen
pink and white petals,
as if the world
is preparing a wedding aisle
for anyone who shows up
this April day in Ohio.
At an intersection,
the young man
in the old blue Ford
twists his face and
scowls at our car.
There has been
no infraction, but
he throws up his hand
in what, disgust?
before his friend,
the driver, peels off.
Though he’s made it
into this poem,
it’s more from curiosity
than injury.
It is easy to not
take to heart his curled lip, his sneer.
But these petals,
these miles and miles
of trees alight
I take them very personally.

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