Gold Fibula

Beneath her feet are hours of open ocean,
….. ….. and Paris, still lost in night,
its blurred crystal and slow coruscation
….. ….. seen from a great height.

Flushed with dawn, the faces of the Alps
….. ….. scroll by under the port wing,
moraine and glacier in their slow collapse,
….. ….. then fade astern like everything.

At last, long spittle-white lines of surf
….. ….. rake the winter beaches of Lazio,
and she is close now, close enough
….. ….. to see pines in a windrow

The Children’s Crusade

Once I spent a winter term in Boston
…………on an internship in children’s advocacy.
…………The lawyers there didn’t know what to do with me,
with my long hair and my gauche manners on the phone,

so I decorated my cubicle with mottoes:
…………GIVE A MAN A FISH… TEACH A MAN TO FISH
…………and trudged out through the cold and slush
to bird-dog the staff in their righteousness.

I was living with a prep-school cohort
…………at a settlement house in the South End,
…………slumming it. I was another dumb blond,
and one night my friends cued up Deep Throat.

Cabin in the Woods

The way is clear through the pasture
…………down to my cabin in the woods
that has been closed since November.
…………On either side the pale geranium nods,
and a wild rose has decided to volunteer.

The field mice will have wintered over in style
…………in that last outpost of my family’s history
with the stained liquor carton, the splayed file,
…………the box of cremains that is empty,
the mahogany desk too big to fail.

They will have made nests from each medium,
…………nibbled off the carpet’s fringe
and shredded the padded pericardium
…………containing the gold pocket watch
that kept time long before my time.