Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sometimes In The Summer \ Nearing Blue Hill

Nancy:  I loved my thimble and my stork scissors, mastered embroidery, learned cutwork and failed lace.  But the times were changing.  In 1951, in Juarez, street peddlers offered me tablecloths, "genuine nylon made by the Indians."
Sometimes In The Summer
Sometimes in the summer
     dusk, dark
   all the hidden, sought, found
   children quiet
   screen doors
my grandmother said come
and we carried the linen
   roses, fine rolled hems
   stitched, laid by in chests
   used, darned
into the garden,
where for years linens were spread
to whiten
   in dew
   in moonlight
   we laid them on the grass
   the paths
   between pale shapes
   of nightblooming flowers
my grandmother smiled
on her knees
her rough hands smoothing
   breathing the flowers
Alan:  Sometimes a poem, or a conversation, seems to fall out of the air like a strange seed blown in from a distant place.
Nearing Blue Hill
You say:
Each afternoon
cloud piled the mountain,
crashed as rain.
in their gardens
or chatting by the roadside
tore off banana leaves,
held them overhead,
scampered home,
emerging from offices
in skirts and coats and ties,
hoisted identical
black umbrellas.
I say:
The Dharma
falls equally on all,
each according to need.
You say:
On the dry side,
in the cane fields,
water buffalo stood,
lifting moist muzzles
to the distant thunder,
“Sometimes In The Summer” first appeared in Chester H. Jones Foundation National Poetry Competition Winners (1983).