This long stretch
of dirt road leads
to a woman who
has forgotten:
the brisk James
River that muddied
her feet when
she caught turtles
on the first day
of spring, both men
she married
as though photos
on her dresser
are puzzle boxes.
She calls her daughter
"that girl who visits,"
flirts with her son.

Today, she wakes
to find strange white
birds lilting the pasture
and calls us in to see
"the magnificent dogs."
The egrets ferret
beetles from dung
and open their wings.
They are kites
stitched to the grass,
lifting it away
in great squares.
Soon all will be
a dark river, soon
the labels for things
she knows will gather
like sediment
in her breath
and the birds
will come for
the pickings
in the eddies.

 

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