Spring 2010 • Vol. XXXII No. 2 PoetryApril 1, 2010 |

Days Beginning to Lengthen

The blackberry brambles droop under the demands of winter. Like seamstresses sweeping the floor for a dropped needle, they will not look up until the business is done. The harrier skims the contours of the red valley, and the one-eyed cat clings to the screen door. In the houses discussion centers on marriage and birth and the maligned realities of consciousness: Will we recover? How so? You say you could learn to live without your hands, but if you had to stop walking the clouds would get the last word. The violets' sores weep like lepers. Despite the warning I take no comfort in the facts of the coming season. First, a man entertaining a crowd with quotations he memorizes that morning from an alphabetized list. Later, a thigh bone lifted aloft, the enumeration of recipes for the magic of yesteryear. Oyster stew. Puppet shows. The belief that if we touch the earth before we speak, we rise as geese shift in Vs, whistling like wheels. We hesitate to pronounce the vowels of loss over

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