This entry is part 8 of 63 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Autumn 2011


What is the story you keep trying to tell,
the thread that keeps poking through
the fabric of every poem you write?

The setting might change, the season,
the number of figures in the tableau,
the time of day— Perhaps there is

a deer standing in dim light at the edge
of the woods, her ears swiveling toward
the east, where plumes of dark smoke

are rising and where her fawn has lost
his way. Perhaps there is a king
who has taken to his bed, and three

sons or daughters who must cross seven
hills to bring back the song of a bird;
thread a bolt of silk through a needle;

breathe stone statues back to life.
Perhaps there is the eternal lover— man
or woman, it does not matter which—

who patiently scours the earth to piece
back the other’s severed limbs, or journeys
to the afterworld to lead her back, now

ransomed. Whatever it is, this
thread colors everything: lures you
forward through the dark like a trail

of crumbs that gleam in moonlight, fans
open in the underbrush like a hundred
feathered eyes; dulls all the senses

but the one which knows to bend toward
the banks of the jelly river, knows
to listen for the dangerous sound

of feet in pursuit; hungers for good,
bright scents of milk and bread and water,
rising above gingerbread, blood, or bone.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← Heart Weighted With CaresTableaux Vivants →

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