Sunday, September 22, 2013

my cousin's america

Detail of Marc Chagall's America Windows, Art Institute of Chicago

on that late summer thursday in my cousin's america
midwest, illinois, land of state sovereignty, national
unity, after chicago, after art and people-watching
in millenium, the set changes to the fox river
i walk to the end of the path in st. charles, my toes
nearly touching the pudding mud, bite into
an apple, study a sign explaining non-point source
pollution—it seeks the lowest spot, the spot where
i stand, the entire riverbank. they say they will bring
the lost prairie back, since strip malls are rootless there's no
drinking the rot and wreck of runoff, clean the river
with angelica, aster, black-eyed susan, snakeroot,
blazing star, prairie clover, tall grass, wheat grass. how about it:
straight talk this time, no double talk, no song and dance.

i seize on this, my non-routine, this minute
compared to yesterday's minute and the minute that's coming
at me with the current's rush. look there, there: coasting—coasting—
wheeling in a chevron backlit by sky unspooling, the wild
geese land in a world-web much like ours: feed, fly, mate
talk, sleep. an earthbound journey dreaming itself, dreaming
the next stop on the map. press on the brakes, slow
the vehicle to let you pass, an almost identical story
to the one i tell of my america, only in maine it's wild
turkeys i try to save. together we multitask
alert to impending disaster, we fluff our feathers
train our beady little eyes on the arrival of what we call hope:
a timely procurement of our next meal.

1 comment:

BavarianSojourn said...

Beautiful words as ever. Hope you are well! :)