Poem of the day

Wednesday, August 20th

 

 

Fire
Father, I'm dizzy in shimmering August, rising new
As summer's mistress from a field of corn. She now
Is married to the heat-swept grain. Her ripening breast

Is a thicket, bright with blood-berries, her body dressed 
In flame. The red god of the salamander sandals her foot,
A monarch touches her lip, her coppery hands fit
Petals in a chain. She knows she has chosen to burn
At noon, as nature intends. The thrust maize, unborn,
Has made her heavy and drugged as a bee. A tawny wood-
Dove sleepily croons what her tongue cannot: the subtle wound
That too much plenty makes. She doesn't know that winter
Ravages, that grief and habitual wind will tint her 
Skin and break the tender stalk of her body. She stands
Impaled by arrows of afternoon light until thunder stuns
Her--she slips like smoke into shade, behind the burning stones.


                   -Melissa Green
                         from The Squanicook Eclogues (1987)

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