Sample poem from Four Blue Eggs

Here’s a sample poem from Four Blue Eggs. The poem also appeared in The Wayfarer.

West Woods Cemetery

Sharing the ground with the low stones

of an old wall,  a thickly scarred maple,

perhaps not even a sapling when names

 

were etched in granite, spreads its limbs

to shade a patch of  club moss. In a hollow

high on the trunk, a family of raccoons

 

wakes in the midday sun. Tiny, patched heads

peek with sleepy eyes from the tear-shaped

opening; a cautious mother tries to shield

 

her suckling kits from those who might

steal them. A striped tail slipping through

the crease of wood or an outstretched  leg

 

is reprimanded back into protection

of the den. Too small to venture down the tree,

the babies have not yet tested the dexterity

 

of their hands, never pressed  an acorn

or frog between them, nor tunneled beneath

the fixed stakes of a fence. Chattering

 

like birds, they don’t sense the luck of birth,

sequestered above grassy hummocks

half-empty with nearly forgotten tombs.

 

Soon they will learn the secrets of the mask,

how to face a moonless night and scavenge

the dull nocturne of suburbia. However crafty

 

and industrious the newborns become,

it will be hard to pass up the easy traverse

across a paved road, and scurry fast enough

 

to miss the black tumult of oncoming tires;

flies will swarm in silent thunder around

gnarled grey fur stuck in unburied rigor,

outstretched paws clawing at a thin gray sky.

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