Improvisation on Gimli
Quarterlight, spilt from the grey jaws of the lake, the day flashes its brindle coat.
I havenâ€™t been here in years, where the wind calmly scours the bones And the landscape shows us its tonsure, its loose hair-shirt. Where nothing climbs, any clear cathedral Must be laid like rabbit fencing, A heel-pressed grace.
I think of my grandmother Crossing in her snowshoes This atlas of snow To visit the farm Of an old Communist
Who showed her half-secret Books whose pageswere Cut first in Russia Carried hidden in Apple crates stuffed with straw
Obscure teachers she sat With under the brambles Of a history Drifting like flotsam. She learned to hate guilt.
It was a line she took For her own, fashioned It like a guitar string Laid it out, drew it Tight. We lay on hands.
Palms upward, Pressing close the calendar of years And early evening coming on
I lay my face to the possibility of the next season When this place will wear the burning fields like the hem of a gown
What will be found in the scorched ground White stone, broken blade, old tooth, or Something else.