Noon finds each dry leaf piled
under each empty tree. No wind.
Light carries sudden heat—the scent
of sugar or blossom—but nothing
is up except onion grass.
The bleached, papery skull
of a snake casts its thumb-sized
shadow. That sad thing, that sad thing
has returned. It closes your throat
to the words which might
give it ease. You can’t yet count
your losses, or say which buds
won’t open their small wings;
the earth’s too tender for walking.
But the usual fever has gilded
the willows. The gas-blue sky stings.
reprinted by permission of The Pedestal Magazine
Read more fine writing in the latest Pedestal issue. I especially enjoyed the poems by Dana Sonnenschein and John Hazard.