Random Poem

April 30, 2014

Louise Bernice Halfe

Weeds are flattened beneath last year’s tire tracks

others lay burden by the winter’s heavy snow.

The crocuses labor through this thick blanket.

I am sun drained from the bleakness

of the weeks before. Now a tick

I've carried in my hair runs up my neck,

festers on my chin.

I show it no mercy.


The lake-ice is rotting diamonds

where water seeps hungrily through its cracks.

Beneath the birdfeeders

goldfinches and juncos scratch.

Two mallards strut

crane their necks for the roving dogs and cats.

Sharptailed grouse lay low in the thicket believing

they cannot be seen, their rust-colored wings

match the frost-bitten ground.


This morning we were woken by a knocking

on our skylight, the yellow feathers

of a flicker splayed against the window.

I cradle a striped gopher, it heaves so slightly

against my palm, a leg broken

and one eye bloodied shut.

I lay it against the mountain ash and beg

it not to suffer.


This afternoon I have my hearing

for Truth and Reconciliation.

I must confess my years of sleeping

in those sterile, cold rooms where the hiss

of water heaters were devils

in the dark.


I want to walk these thickets

to that far horizon and not look back.