[from Ellen Doré Watson's We Live in Bodies, 1997]
On the Seventh Anniversary of the Conception of My First Child
I look to the world. I ponder the possibility of number two.
Out the window fresh nubs of dead wood suggest
putting on some lullabies and sitting on the front stoop
to blow bubbles. The chickens with the wounds of winter
on their backs have tired of walking tiptoe in the mud.
They long to do the cross-stitch in the grass; they’re
dreaming of getting into real estate. It’s a Spring thing.
There’s an attic full of baby clothes that want to get out.
They sigh and whisper with the rafters, sell all your roadmaps —
hell, forget how to drive. I try to see myself as the eager
young poppy in the corner of the garden, always the first
to wave her red hanky at each passing cloud. I rise like
dough on that childlike thought. I can shut out the checkbook
crying me a river, and the bellyaching rooms, too full
to cough. What needles is this craving for another someone,
for the pain and beauty of something tugging day and night,
something needy that has no words. Most days it’s words I want.
My eyes do their searching thing, but no skywriting in the high
thin air, no runes in the compost. The weather-beaten chicken shed
is looking awfully sullen, playing it close to the vest. Soon darts
of green will gather at its ankles. We believe this on the flimsiest
of evidence. Just as we know the scanty remains of the woodpile
and cluttered gutters will take a back seat to the question of those
small boulders in the garden: are they saying goodbye, sucked
down under glacial mud, or rising up in the moonlight with a whiff
of sour milk on their breath?
We Live in Bodies: Poems