After Philip Levine
The yard is abandoned, though home
welcomes you. A lone blue sofa
where she huddles, feet beneath
legs crossed in moon shadows.
A man scatters seeds…royal blue
jays in black plumes land inside
the red-fired, ceramic planter, filling
the man’s eyes like a lone bird.
I follow your lead. You see me
in the strawberries bending to slip
a berry into your waiting mouth,
aging yet hungry for springtime.
Why have we aged like tree trunks?
Why are we smoke the oaks breathe?
Why are our griefs fog-swept?
The pink dogwood barking…
In November, late last year
we watched our nimble grandsons flying—
calling out Count to a hundred—
& twenty, trampoline springs receiving them.
Up down up down flipping through
air, air filling with rain, faces wet,
light as air, they springing higher&higher—
Piper barking, then, howling at the wind…
Though we are bodies tethered to earth, we
still jump for the moon, our precious hands
mittens woven in snow, we breathing in&out
beneath the snowflakes’ cold caress.
Margaret Gish Miller is a practicing poet who attended and read at one of Creative Colloquy’s open readings; read from “Oregon Poets Write of Their Sisters” with fellow anthologists at Kings Books in Tacoma and Barnes & Noble in Vancouver, Washington. Recently, she was chosen as one of 12 workshop participants in an Ellen Bass workshop called “Thirteen Ways of Writing Your Life.”