A Sound Like the Earth, The Train, and Winter Peach
The train whistle broke the fog.
Her brother would not be among the soldiers
coming home tonight, patched and worn thin
like daddy’s overalls at the end of summer.
a leg, to want a piece of him home to ease
the worry that only metal and a flag
would bear him to the back country again.
She tried to divine the night air
for facts and futures but her witchy
great-grandmother had burned with all the family
magic. Standing in the dark she tried to hold
the fog. Was left with only water and wind in her hands.
He did not feel the release of steel, promise
of a slowing train. A body not meant
to carry the world’s tinder and coal
without the splintering of bone.
Metal softened like a heart.
He did not want to
meld into steel, join the radiance
of an engine’s headlight. He luminesced,
body open in prayer.
Not one of us could stumble into
the night, find steel harder
than human touch, heavier than love
of another. How do we hold back
ourselves, blow our thin glass skin
over flames, and not melt into steel?
It is February.
The wind whistles
against bare walls.
Snow falls on birds’ beaks.
I drink milk from the ground.
In pairs, squirrels curl in tree-holes.
I lie in bed. Alone.
Dream of black snow.
A darkening moon.
The wind rushes,
like a baby’s breath,
through the window sash.
The scent of milk fills my waking,
that can exist here.