Friday, August 04, 2017


Terracotta statuette of a girl playing ball, The Met

A reverse liquid, these bees, swirling
down into a moist leaf-duff bottleneck,
carrying nectar and letters for all our
dead. Our dead, having died before this
rainless desert summer, our dead whose
memory brings another recollection—
the smell of oiled leather. Tack-scent
clinging to my fingers as they clenched,
gripped the pommel tight (the saddle
slipping, rolling, cinch loose)—a sour
old horse trying to scrape me off on the
side of a farm truck. Glove-scent (such
happy magic) as I took it down from a
shelf, loosened the cord that bound it
up around a softball all winter, waiting
for the glove to be softened, reshaped,
until it could do nothing except snag
every errant infield bounce, its deep
pocket a perfect nest for every catch.

And now the sun’s set and the bees have
gone, pouring themselves into the earth.
I’m too parched to cry for my dead, so I
place this near where I saw the bees last,
this crumpled slip of paper; and my fingers
become the cord that binds memory up,
lacing it, becoming the seams, the round
sun burning my palms as we play catch.

1 comment:

bev said...

Wonderful, Lori.