Poetry | wisconsinacademy.org
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Tiny air bubbles pincushion the glasscatching rainbowsso perfectly full of light’s live handtouching also the hair and beardof the man he has become.

Someday they will askWhat were they thinking?

When the car is hurtlingOff the overpassTowards the riverWhat is the child in the backseatThinkingExcept doors and windows?

i was baptized so many times, my familymust not have understood its action as rebirth.instead: accumulation. each time we broke

I saw you sitting on the roof that night,the stars having descendedFrom their dusty perches to hangLike old dreams from your shirt pocket.

This is firecrackerfuse out, of the mouthof a mostly-dead fish,scooped from the bait binwhere our grandpawould keep a few—fireworks in the handsof too young boyswith too much time

She lifts two buckets from his truckbefore he can tell her what to do.The clank and weight of skimmers, rodsand spinning reels, plastic tackle boxesfull of lures that once fascinated, now

Listen. Even now, as ice cracks,a chickadee sings its spring song.

Speak only true names. Redwing blackbird.Orb-weaver eggs. Dragon cladonia.

When you want to clarify what you meantto say, say thank you.

Winter mornings I walk outside before the world starts up again. An occasional car, the early bus with one person on it. Sometimes the wind hasn’t even started and the heat from the chimneys of all the sleepers rises up above the houses.

This isn’t a protest, you understand.Bonfire in May with wood that’s gone dry,we’re burning the things that cannot withstand.

It’s still a ways away. It’s going to go away, you know. It’s still there. It is, or it isn’t. It’s in the mail. It’s in the console. It’s the perfect fit. It’s me versus you. It’s something we can all look back to. It’s forward looking.

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