I cannot know what that crow says
I would warrant that it is nothing
incidental, nothing that can wait,
nothing that we need to know
before this one last turn around the block.
doctor is waiting with some news.
It used to be a doctor was a teacher,
teach us how to keep our bodies, he'd help
fill our minds to feed our hearts. But now
have a phone call, now we have
to be ready for anything. There are procedures
explain, and something like odds.
Chances are, what the crow says is
in this foot-full of leaves we brush aside
lies any number of possibilities and at
we have never considered before.
We have little time. We have little to say.
the crow is not divine; his caw is just
perhaps, but if I call upon him as an image,
I declare him to be only that.
Let no black bird be anything else than
comes into my musings to represent
the constant and normal, tragic and daily
that any father might imagine
when before him a perfect boy points upward
autumn to the same two doves perched
on the same two wires he pointed to last
me now declare that this crow beckons
only what's already past, and that where
our only boy
one brother and one little sister, neither
having suffered any kind of misery, there
a dreamer shall he lay a leaf by the head
of each, and I accompany him, and I bring
to wake in peace and in full being
between me his father, and her his only
THE HANDWORM'S HIPBONE
Under the overturned wheelbarrow,
the dark of that insulated space
warmed by the decay of last year's leaves,
the dark of the dark and building soil,
is the dark of the ever-dampening.
And when I overturned the overturned
the dark flew out like a covey,
like sparrows, and having been for so long
to all of its damp and warm
containment, and having fled so quickly,
it left behind the decayed, or half-decayed
of an ordinary bird, a black bird,
the remnants of its red brassards browning
it. The remnants of last year's leaves
also lain by its head for so long as to
blackening beside it, silent and benign,
if sent there by charm to diminish
some inconsequential thing shamefully
in a dark space in a dark time
to become naught in the heart of the harrower.
v. to whisper; run, n. whisper, mystery,
Whisper this one. Small brown trout attend
brookies wave with the cutbank mosses. The
move off to the other side of the coulee.
hackle of pheasant, pipe felt and beadpace
Still, the silent dew, the small browns,
the nymph descending.
Something making you weepforecast
backcastthe last star
recedes into the blue-jaundiced silt of
dawn. The mist
accretes in the pasture. Holsteins lumber
off. Something has you
weeping. Your small son sleeps. Forecast
backcast forecast release.
A new hatch lights on the pool, new browns
rise the first time.
In the deep shadow, the knee-deep water
clatter, I come
against a scrimshaw of prickly ash and barbed-wire
backlit by early yellow dawn. My nymph bounces
on the roil.
Inside that dark lacuna, a giant, a water-demonor
a big trout. I stiffen, barb-bitten, pulled
by the downy silt.
Five a.m., I'm racing a big yellow sun
out of town
to Shadow Coulee. Something's frothing in
gathering over the grassy islands, across
every hanging reed.
I'm too close yet. The browns see us coming;
taste our plans like a bad word, like soap
in the mouth.
One little brown lost to our silent scrimmage,
big muskrats bounding pool to pasture, three
nymphs caught in the reeds, four in the
five impossible tangles five times a day,
to fish for five fish a day, and one little
brown away, away.