Look over your shoulder for the hustle of words.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Along the Top of Hedges

She's a rougher touch than I am.
She talks with ease; her voice is
a hollow aching breeze you lean around
and listen for, screening associates for
deceit, screening us for lies or kindness.
Oh, you know, I can see her head and follow
along the tops of hedges, if I
stand on tiptoe, my tiny tiptoes, my
little calves straining, my heels arching,
my fingers pointing straighter, straighter,
straight at her earth.
She doesn't know how she owns
the whole holy world with each omission;
in the dry pauses, leaves hang in midair
and raindrops pause to collect their bustle.
And yes? yes? we hold our breath.
Only they and little lowly me know
that when she speaks again
it is as flint to flint, or bone on bone.
Sharp delightful life!

Mother, mother, in the snippets
of your mumbles or shouts
I see how you live.
You're both kinds of Mary.

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