Reading Your Face
How I saw my face when I saw your face,
in the faces of mamas and papas,
in the faces of the ballerinas
covered and hidden to conceal all grace.
How I felt the burden of the sashweights
& bags of birdshot, & all the wincing
& the loud noise, & the thoughts shattering,
& the radio sealing all our fates.
I, too, feel as if I’m suspended
in air for a moment kissing my love.
A butterfly breaks from a cocoon
with wings fully grown, ready to set flight.
Hanging from a wet tree branch, a raindrop
falls and absorbs into the damp soil.
A caterpillar crawls, expands head.
It slinks slowly to the base of tree
looking up toward the cocoon now open.
As more rain falls, the cocoon falls also.
The butterfly's wings flutter through the air
with flapping with fanning with full fashion
of color. Blurring busily through the
soaking foliage, wings struck by the light,
it lands on the petal, legs finding soft
traction, it rests on the matching petal.
Here at the Yukla Yurt on the river
bends, where raging rapids run rapidly,
red raspberries await a fresh picking
and silence blows through spruce leaves.
in the woods, down the path to Echo Bend,
where water calms and mountains stretch upward,
where for miles the sweet song of a songbird
flies after the swift foot heels of the wind,
a step of roots leads to a step of rocks,
surrounded by lichen patches, and moss
near craggy cliffs, and fireweed winking
into the depths of the forest, seeing
sunlight breaking in between countless trees,
and shadows underneath birch bark peeling.