Michael McClintock


                                                    an old photo
                                                    of my parents
                                                    young and happy–
                                                    of all the things I own
                                                    that is the saddest

                                                    out in the garden
                                                    the gate's windy creak
                                                    as evening comes on

                                                    easy enough to believe
                                                    the dead might love that hour

                                                     enough is enough–              
                                                     painting the old house
                                                     I stop at the eaves
                                                     deciding to keep them
                                                     cobwebbed and beautiful

                                                     I want to join
                                                     in that picnic by Renoir
                                                     and fix the dangling strap
                                                     at the shoulder of the one
                                                     whose face is lotion-pink

                                                     for breakfast
                                                     I'll give you bread
                                                     but for the afternoon
                                                     please carry the worms
                                                     and let's go fishing

                                                     one flash
                                                     and it was gone --
                                                     a meteor,
                                                     at the time of sunset,
                                                     seen through honeysuckle vines

                                                     following a route
                                                     of many twists and turns
                                                     a butterfly joins me
                                                     for rest withiin the sanctuary
                                                     at the edge of the windy field

                                                     admiring the oak
                                                     and knowing, of course,
                                                     I haven't the strength
                                                     or roots, or simple desire
                                                     to stand so long in one place