Look how the sun has emerged, despite
expectations and the wringing of hands.
A new warmth rises on the April wind.
I am here again at the old crossroads: action
at odds with intention. Accomplishment sacrificed
to the short-term pleasure of just being here.
Is it so wrong to stop and reevaluate
the day’s agenda? If they will pay
for the same work tomorrow, why hurry
past this hour when it all begins to make sense?
You and me, this unlikely house. Look,
the weeds have turned into forget-me-nots,
and we didn’t kill the lemon after all.
Come, sit beside me and listen: I swear you can hear
the Bermuda grass growing, oak shadows deepening,
this old planet spinning on a new axis.
My Mother and I Rearrange the World
You first, I say, handing her the largest oceans.
Reaching in past her elbow, she retrieves small whales
and the wishbone of a sunken ship.
Pull with me and make a wish, and I squeeze
until the soft wood leaks seawater down my arm.
Together we shift the priority of isthmus and strait,
connect their jigsaw coastlines to form new routes
around treacherous shoals, calm the wild waters of the Horn,
delight to imagine the sailors safe in their ports.
In forgotten hometowns we take up the streets, pouring
their contents onto the Formica table between us.
You next, she says, and I begin righting the wood-frame houses,
placing them square on their foundations, finger briefly
through the household goods, place the sleeping residents
back in their beds, and fold the quick dark around them.
We work through the neighborhoods, arranging crosswalks
and vegetable stands, pause to examine the small gathering places
where children play until their names are called
through the summer air and they are off home again.
We take all the time creation needs, not interested
in copyright or the small byline left by inventors.
Only the chance to say, Ah, that’s right!
The reward of saying, Isn’t that fine!