Sunday, December 14, 2008
All those times, all those bridges,
Georgia to Florida, sand
in his shoes, red clay in his pocket,
I wonder what passed through my father's mind.
He never said much about hurricanes
or corn, except that you pull it not pick it
One summer in Georgia I promised to pull
all the corn in ten acres he planted.
Indolent girl, red clay in my pocket,
I remember a movie in east Atlanta.
Prisoners built a bridge across water,
building, building the whole movie.
I was too young to know why
they blew it all to pieces in the end.
This morning a half drowned woman wakes me.
I open the window. She has come many miles
across water. Her memories are mine.
She gives me one starfish, one mango
and reminds me how I climbed the tree
when the flood came, after the hurricane.
I give her anemone for starfish.
I give her a mountain, the safest place to be.
from NIGHT STUDENT