Friday, May 24, 2013


- Ellen Bryant Voigt

In the still morning when you move   
toward me in sleep for love,   
I dream of

an island where long-stemmed cranes,   
serious weather vanes,   
turn slowly on one

foot. There the dragonfly folds   
his mica wings and rides   
the tall reed

close as a handle. The hippo yawns,   
nods to thick pythons,
slack and drowsy, who droop down

like untied sashes
from the trees. The brash   
hyenas do not cackle

and run but lie with their paws   
on their heads like dogs.   
The lazy crow’s caw

falls like a sigh. In the field   
below, the fat moles build   
their dull passage with an old

instinct that needs
no light or waking; its slow beat   
turns the hand in sleep

as we turn toward each other   
in the ripe air of summer,   
before the change of weather,

before the heavy drop   
of the apples.

from Claiming Kin. Copyright 1976.

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