The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Carol Frith

You lean like a Shinto reed against the wind,
the afternoon thin and flickering.  Dust
reclassifies itself in the light,
the evening moon blooming early.
The afternoon air flickers.  Yesterday,
the wind sheared a branch from the tulip tree.
The evening moon bloomed in the empty space.
How many functions of the sovereign wind?
A branch came off the tulip tree
and glitters now in the sweet grass beneath,
and that is a function of the sovereign wind.
You take a cup of the dayís air into your palm.
Your eyes shine like the sweet grass beneath the tree,
the long afternoon beginning to reclassify itself.
You cup the dayís light in the palm of your hand,
lean like a Shinto reed against the bright air.

The apricot is coming into bloom,
white blossoms with pink centers.  One thing or
another, you say.  From another room,
light behind your words: light in layers.  Iíve for-
gotten what itís for.  Light that layers in the heart
is geologic (sedimentary).   The red part
of each apricot blossom glows like a small
tired sun.  Next month, you say, is equinox.
Today the windís a reaper, harvesting tight buds, all
of them.  Our words accrete like sediment in rocks.
Behind you is an oil on canvas: three
yellow hills, a road, an oak.  I donít recall where we
bought the painting, but there are no fruit trees in
it, and no words--just pigment.  Through the sheers,
the apricot is stony brown.  Each branch makes a thin
shadow: shadows in layers.  We havenít pruned in years.
Darkness is coming on in random aggregates, and now
I say, les abricots, some French I have, I donít know how.

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