Now you are here, walking through tall stalks,
fingering a rat skull in your pocket like a lucky
penny you picked up along the way. Now imagine
the claw that felled her or the blade, ants entering
the eyehole, hawk who finished her off, your shawl
shed like cornsilk and husk. Red fox darting across
the path, no other human, just rushes, cattails,
marsh grass, reeds where the swamp used to be,
where there once was lily pad, frogs croaking
their throat song into the night. Now it is quiet,
swollen wall of yellow-green after the calm, after
the storm, after the delusion of storm, deluge. In
your chest, a swarm of angry bees, a reason
to go on. Don’t carry the burden of tomorrow. Don’t
carry the burden of any hour. Carry the bird in
the tool shed out again. Let the bluebird out
with the wind, blueprint of wind: tulle, satin, silk,
husk, all as before, the rust-red fox at dusk.
Now you are gone. Outside the camera’s frame,
tanned hands of a fisherman bending down
to net the day’s catch. Now you are full,
lulled to the sill, cellophane, cello playing,
selling the dream of tomorrow dangling
on the end of a string. Now you are young
again. Now you are not afraid to die.
Now let the wind carry you home.
Kim Harvey is a San Francisco Bay Area poet and a reader for Palette Poetry. She is an alumni of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Her work has appeared in Comstock Review and was selected for Rattle’s August 2018 Ekphrastic Challenge. She was awarded 2nd Prize in the 2017 Muriel Craft Bailey Poetry Contest judged by Ellen Bass and received Special Merit in the 2018 contest. Her poem “Tappahannock” first appeared in 3Elements Review.