Thursday, August 9, 2012

From the "Union Pier" poems:

From the city

friends from the city
come to visit.  Proudly we
show them our beach, our birds,
the trees flanking the house, a canopy
of oaks and elms, pines and lilac bushes
in the backyard, the wildflowers in
the front.  We name each one: white
trillium, false solomon’s seal, dame’s
rocket.  They are impressed.  

Later, I chop onions, slice tomatoes, wash
green lettuce, shave carrots, their orange
shards gleaming in the royal blue
salad bowl.  The grill spews smoke 
and the smell of barbecued chicken
fills our nostrils, waters our mouths.  We 
gather around the faded wooden picnic 
table, sip cold beer, tell jokes, tell stories of
joy, of fear, of a shared past and a propitious
future, our lives held together somewhere
between our throats and our bones by
an invisible wire, pulling our breath, our words.

Hours later, the clouds, squeezing out  
light, turn pink and blue, turn dark.  When 
the sun has finally dipped into the lake, 
our friends return, 
we stay.