William Woolfit


          SOLOMON'S SEAL

perennial of the Lily family, of the genus

Polygonatum (from the Greek for many knees,

an allusion to the many-bending joints

of the rootstocks)

Little foxes we have been

all the days since we became alive,

turned loose after the wash of rain

to scamper through stalks of corn

and drive away the crows, shadow-rags

come to peck our eyes and thieve the grain.

In the cool of evening, rest with me

on the avocado couch beneath cedar beams,

comb the burrs from my hair, bring me

apples and raisins when I cry for the sweet.

Winter is over; branches already

brush the ground, heavy with figs

and green tears. Tomorrow we will run

through these fields, drop down where

blades of grass become blunders of stone,

on hands and unbruised knees scan

the cliff’s granite edge, drink rainwater

and thistle honey where they mingle

in the cleft of the rock.

Copyright © 2003 William Woolfit.  All Rights Reserved.

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