St. Elmo In The Morning

Hush and lull of quiet time in my
Daughter’s apartment as she
Prepares for a later-starting workday.
Extra time allows for the little nothing
Tasks like unknotting a shoelace,
Soaping out yesterday’s Thermos.
~
The oval mirror above the fern
Reflects the wall behind me.
Prints of birds – finches? –
And a South of France travel
 poster.
Books stacked and angled,
Bubbling fish bowl – home of Joel.

Ten foot ceilings widen narrow rooms,
And there’s curry, somewhere.
Yes, I am just rearranging prose on the page,

But the street window is open, and
St. Elmo is wet through from last night’s
Storm, and dazzling in the morning sun,
Vital and delicate both.
Baby green leaves peek out of wet, black limbs.
Wet tires slur rubbery down Tennessee Avenue
Because a time clock beckons. And the bluff face
Looks down from behind moving clouds,
Sun and shadow tagging over its rocks and redbuds.
I can trace the curved road only by glints
Of wet cars climbing through the greeny, misty
Trees, up, up, up. I wonder where they are going and
Why they need to get to the top of the mountain.

Eliza arrives with three coffees and we
Puzzle out her route through nursing school,
As the building pops in the morning damp,
And Joel recovers his nerves
After last night’s storm.


Eliza and Adrienne; March 28, 2017,Tennessee Avenue, St. Elmo
For the record, Eliza looks pained because she didn’t want her picture taken.

Ode To March: Covered up

January showed herself as
Sticks against the
Indifferent back of
Stephen Crane’s deity.

March is those sticks fanning out from
Within themselves,
Expanding their marrow
To the east and west,
Joining hands and
Becoming thatch –
A Radagast roof that
Turns the softening sky into
Tiny triangular pieces.

March is the blush-beginning of
Being covered up.
~
Covered up.
Around here, when people say they are
Covered up, they mean they are
Busy,
Behind,
Overwhelmed;
Their production line isn’t meeting
Incoming orders and sirens are going off
All over the factory floor.

I get covered up like that,
Flat covered up. Oh, me.

And when I do,
I do the Adam-and-Eve thing –
Worry
And sew up a fig-leaf.
As a spider’s web is made of
Spider, so my skirt is woven of my
Panic and pride and dyed with a
Peacock’s palate of self-righteousness.

I wear my skirt to Sunday
Worship and there sing,
“Cover my defenseless head
In the shadow of thy wing.”
Tucked up there, He lets me hear
His heart beat the calming rhythm of
“It is finished.”
He removes my scrappy fig leaf,
And covers me up
With Himself.
He whispers over my head that
The production line is not my job.
~
I am covered up, oh, me.