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A TANGLE OF BIRDSONG
Carol Purington
Larry Kimmel



mud season
two miles to the neighbor's
seven miles back

shortcut through woods
in the slush, blurred fox prints

boiling down maple sap
on the kitchen stove -
wallpaper peels

wind-wrecked lattice
diamonds stretched to a squint

sidewalk art
Chinese elegance of leafless trees
orange moon

gutter full of autumn
- shuffling to school

a spider
drops beside her
glass of cider

party dress all wet
Cinderella in blue jeans

"blond, barefoot,
and beautiful" * -- her coy smile
not meant for me

letter emailed
wrong boyfriend

haiku scribbled
on scrap paper -
gone with the . .
.

hoop-skirted dancers
aboard the Mark Twain steamboat

Atlantic crossing
no land in sight - overhead
a summer moon

beyond the emerald pond
their rock garden

catching the sun's
last gold - the stone
at the peak of its arc

her best tunes
the year before she died

Sunday it wasn't
Monday it is
the crocus

gone so soon
Easter fragrance

late thaw
the snowman on the pitcher's mound
drops his glove

"look Ma! no arms"
Venus de Milo

on the white walls
of her gallery
green glass ivy

linen table cloth
grapes on a pewter plate

chilled the wine
chill the wind that enters
with each guest

watching snowflakes fall
the candle shorter now

his final gift
turquoise stars
on her silver earrings

casting his horoscope
wishing she hadn't

just in case -
instead of a diamond
her birthstone

his name
graven in granite

inside the white fence
the whiter chrysanthemums -
moon cloud

drifts
of milkweed parachutes

from attic vent
to hickory tree
flying squirrel

on the pantry floor
a spill of pickle brine

Saturday morning
Gramma's fresh baked bread
and sugar pie

to measure the twilight
by a tally of stars

scattered across the lawn
clusters
of Spring Beauties

and on the slight breeze
a tangle of birdsong


*paraphrased from John Berryman's Sonnets:

 

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