The Innisfree Poetry Journal
by Ann Knox
Sun filters through the beech grove spackling
mossed ground, the woods are still. Listen.
Nothing, then a scritch as a squirrel hummocks
along a branch, from the draw, a woodpecker's thrum,
beneath my foot a twig clicks, a swish
as I brush a strand of hair from my face.
A dove exhales her quiet Coo.
and under the duff a mole whiffles the dark.
Snake, snail, grasshopper, we all take
and give, even sphagnum moss looses
green damp and the pale undersides of leaves
release vapor to air. Above this breathing
canopy, past cloud and contrail, past the edge
of hearing—the spinning planet's soundless roar.
FISH IN WATER
I add another link to my paper-clip chain,
doodle a fish, a boat, a line of waves
and think of a flounder skimming the ocean floor
unaware of the edge of its world, the tide mounding,
or the shrimp boat foundering on the swells above.
I wonder if the fish notes a shift in the water's density,
or like me, pays no heed to air pressing my skin
as I wait in this back-wash for something to change.
Enough. I push aside papers and stand in the doorway
looking out — nothing but slate dark clouds.
Then a siren splits the lull, a quick in-breath,
a startle shudders my body. Hey, wake up.
This is where you live, things are happening out there,
wind rolls an empty cup across the road,
a yellow dog leans against its leash tugging
an old woman. All this matters, pay attention.
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