October Birthday Walk (10/15/97)
My palms are still fluttering with the wings of the monarchs,
burnt orange against the slate grey of lake and sky.
Little grains of sand are falling from them as they warm
to the winding path of our morning walk.
Down the crooked steps across the railroad tracks,
ringed with ghosts of flattened pennies.
Down the sliding sand toward the crash
of waves stirred by autumn.
Red coat, green coat
beside me, before me.
Stones, begging attention, beneath me.
Down the beach
busy with the bargaining of gulls
the delicate whispering
of fallen fairies
struggling to rise
to move on their sticky legs
anxious to hold on to anything other than the sand
that whips them, holy
black as the night sky that just slipped away
peppered with the white of tiny blazing stars.
I carry seven in my left hand, three in my right,
mother has many, Mary a few.
Down to rest on this tired tree
safe from the wind.
your wings wave us goodbye.
We walk on
to swings three.
One Mary, one mom, one me
gliding and singing
to the raging sky.
How do you like to go up in a swing?
Up in the air so blue
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do.
Our hands already in Mexico.