Poet’s work with two materials, one’s black and one’s white.

In my work the white is everything but me and the black is me.

—Glyn Maxwell, On Poetry



Age drips, bruises, swells, oozes,                        hard freeze. Dad—in the hospital

blots, aches, wobbles—shingle less,                       room, light blades thrusted through

a roof balding thin from sunrise to                          cracked blinds, steadily slicing away

sunset. Lawns scorched in summer,                       his life. Chemo sagged his face until

buds frozen in late freeze, goodness                         he ceased beneath steely sheets. My

hanging on scaffolds and evil pulling                       daylight shaded amber as his shadow

trapdoors. No, not all is morbid and                         darkened to its last veil. Seems eons

regrettable and I, in hardy health, am                         ago. On the S-shaped, metal patio





jubilant and buoyant (with onset of a                         rocking chair, a slight nod on this

gimpy knee, peering hernia, groggy                           oversized spring nudges Emma and

mornings from my C-PAP mistress.)                          me up and down, up, down, buoy-

This old army surplus pup tent frays.                         bobbing on porch seas. Eyelashes

Buttons missing, but nonetheless I                        flutter. She swoons into baby dream

am water repellant. I retain a glimpse                         on my chest, milk frosting her lip.

of wonder. In that marsh when cattails                     Wisteria fragrance crests through

cry dewdrops down whiskered stems—                     rusty screens. I saw the nativity

a muskrat veers through lily pads—                   born in many hearts and watched

feathery clouds nestle duck-egg-blue                       masses clinging to sacred straw

skies. How the shrine of morning light                       floating on wormwood waters. I

vanishes without its temple of shadows!                  have marched against the fur of life

A time ago: a swallow swerved in a                       and meandered on Potter’s Field. I

barn loft, dust dancers streamed on light                   type with hands growing liver-spot

shafts. Wall planks warped, split from                       colonies; blue serpentine veins

baking suns and pummeling rain. There                     pump ancient blood toward this

is a crack in the heavens; the leak is                       antique chest. I am the black that

what I know as this earth. Perhaps the                     traced flashpoints of my life, and

kingdom of God is my heart, plundered                    under the sun the same fate befalls

of demonic and divine shrines—a dark,                       everyone. Love the days allotted.

still sanctuary where I rest some summer                 It is in the whiteness herein, not me,

nights. The suet cage is empty until next                  guiding me through my last pulse.