Rhododendron and fresh mown zoysia grass,
Fragrant halos that come undone,
Fumes of creosote oozing from poles
Sweating tar under a scorching sun.
Sap on sodden pine needles
Glow wistfully like amber tears
That fall through vaporous piles of leaves
Decaying beneath layers of years.
Oil stained sand behind a gas station,
Dew soaked chat on the tracks,
Draining colors of autumnal dusk
Into after bedtime black.
Solar apparitions in purling glass
Diffuse through Venetian curtains,
Star chip white bespeckles the night
Where no warmth of color is certain.
Splinters of hope and anguish
Peel like paint off the ironwood transom
Of my family’s boat, set low in the water,
While our spirits hold fast to the stanchions.
Our mother’s love playfully chases us
Through the biting measures of time,
Silhouettes run and ripple down rows
Of linen memories that dry on the line.