The woodchuck’s paw prints led to the hole under
our house in Maine. We saw him sometimes
in summer: a bowling ball of brown fur, rolling
across the backyard, grown fat on our flowers.
He ate the heads off the orange poppies,
then lay on his back as if having opium dreams.
At first, I hated him as I hated his cousins,
the fat squirrels who swung from the bird feeder,
gobbling seeds meant for the chickadees. Yet,
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after a few years, I grew fond of our woodchuck,
imagined him as a character in a children’s book;
an elderly bachelor in a waistcoat.
Lace things in a hotel room, on a pier.
Your grainy bangs.
Neck, shoulders, pyre-light time of day.
Whisper of ocean in your mouth, the wish for a breathing horizon.
My old capacity
to trust: it was a gift. Speechlessly I waited.
Ideas were ovoid and hostile.
Where was she?
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Even now, while you’re far off, I feel you touching me
as in the making.
Moth-like kisses on face and hands
as space opens
where the rapine of waves dispersed the grains.
I don’t know what to expect
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because I never died before.
Maybe I will be greeted by
A pair of blue unicorns or
a rainbow and a waterfall
or colorful birds singing my
favorite tunes or I might see
a night sky filled with stars
I once saw on a summer night,
only now I will finally get to see
the man in the moon releasing
all those silvery shooting stars.
I was the woman going home
after a hard day.
I took the long way
across the soccer field,
no one was playing,
the clouds tasseled.
If there were still good things
in this world
I wanted to feel it in the ground
that holds me up,
catches me when I fall.
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Out of flower now,
yet I smell it and so
must the dogs who
know where the cardinal
was at noon and the red squirrel.
Who knows which
trace is truest –
this one as if someone took
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a torch to pearled sugar,
crust on custard,
almost too sweet.
We, or at least I, rely
certain in seeing.
The moon is a firefly
in the pine, a silver flash
above the greenish
flare of beetles.
Lemon-brushed, she has one last trip to make across pastureland to the wild cherry tree. Last meal on a frivolous zinnia, torn chiffon at her wing’s end amber and black turn to bisque on grey appalachiensis.
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For thrum of yellow through sycamores and slant of sunlight through milk jug’s rounded edges. For gold-ignited summer and star-spangled boneweed on the road.
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Ocean City I’m on a fifth-storyhotel balconyat the crack of dawn staring past a row of rental propertiestoward vast waters beyond, as I wonderwhat ghosts lieon the hungover streets below. What sort of jukebox jiveor inebriated highdid that last breeze carry through? It’s a mid-summer den,a damn hotbed,of debauchery and sin on this morning after […]
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August It is no easier to escape August than January – late summer lassitude bows the asters, curls the sunflowers just as the blizzard quiets winter. My hammock is my sled hurtling with frogs in first fall of alder leaves, swinging over plums fried on the patio, watching the squirrel choose soft figs over peanuts. […]
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Haircut in Summer, South India My sister-in-law cut my niece’s hair— a strand, then a chunk, for each drop of sweat that taunted and whispered fever— until long black locks were shoulder high— then chin— then cut close to the head. A boy’s cut, she said would make the fever go away. Jennifer Jeremiah is […]
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