17 October 2007

Linda Gregerson

[from Linda Gregerson's Bright North, 2007]

Bright Shadow
      for Peter Davison

Wherever they come from whether the all-
                     but impenetrable bracken
                               on the nearer
                side of Maple Road (so closely does she bed

them down) or deeper in the wetland (each
                     new season surrendering further to
                               the strangle
                of purple loosestrife) they

have made for weeks a daybed of
                     the longer
                               grass beneath the net
                that sometimes of an evening marks

the compass of our shuttlecock
                     so Steven
                               when at last he finds
                an afternoon for mowing must purposely

chase them into the woods where she
                     so watchful
                               in the normal course of foraging but
                lulled or made a stranger to her own

first-order instinct for dis-
                     quietude (so firmly
                               have the scents and apparitions of
                this people-riddled bit of earth impressed

themselves upon the wax that stands for world-
                     as usual) (a scant
                               twelve months ago she was
                herself the sucking diligence that made

the mother stagger on the dew-drenched
                     lawn) will find them near the salt lick and
                               as by a subtle field-of-
                force will reel them back to

stations-of-the-daily-path that portion out
                     their wakefulness
                               (the ravaged
                rhododendrons bearing witness) forever en-

grafting the strictures of hunger (bright shoots)
                     to the strictures (bright
                               shadow) of praise.

Magnetic North

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