By Ruth Daigon

When I was a nightingale, I sang.
When I was a serpent, I swallowed,
my voice, spume blown from a wave
a sound too thin for earthworms.

In my body of skin, of moss, of clover
I touch fingers with fingers
lips with lips
the exposed tip of the heart.

With memories older than Prometheus
I remember the time when time was birthed
the sky appeared
sudden light
the wind and water
where blind valves closed
on a single grain of sand.

Seed work sun work earth work.
If pansies are for thoughts
pick them early in the morning
so they last.

Lake-summer days I climb the hill
drink the sky and pose like Millet's peasant
listening to an invisible lark.

With a pocketful of seeds, I sit
peeling an orange under a static sun
attentive to the sound of pine cones clicking open.

The child sleeps in my shadow
and walks beside me
following from birth and
moving as I move.
We cling together like small animals, trembling
and the well is dry the cup empty

and gravity's a long way down.


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