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Blessed and Brooding


ISSUE:  Autumn 1989
The months ahead look like huge, cluttered rooms
I want to kick my way across and get
to you. But you’re just barely there. And women
have a knack for this, I’m told. So I wait
and wait. Your father knocks on wood—on the carved,
curved arm of the walnut rocker he hauled
upstairs for me two summers ago, before
we knew how many times we’d try and fail,
try and lose. Now nothing seems sure
except that cicadas’ shrill cries rise
all day, then slow to static, then scrape our screens
at dusk. When will they stop? I want the crazed
fall winds to come, come down and crush the sky
to bright bits, then strip it bare. But the sun
stays high so long this one last summer

before your birth. (I’ll knock on the rocker again.)
In our cellar there’s cider in heavy jugs
to mull and drink from handmade mugs on days
the color of dull knives, before you come.
While I rock, rock and talk, and your father walks
around the edge of the braided rug.

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