A hot day and a woodpecker carves away
at backyard aspen, the dog's ear swiveling
like a tiny satellite dish: pinpoint,
lock on. Morning and the neighborhood
rotates around that point, springing taut
toward equinox. Little flashes call out to those
who can read their language but glitter
for everyone, the planet an ear in a swirl of sound.
In one photograph teletype operators
sit at the alert, collars buttoned high, each finger
rearing back over a single shining key,
each key lit from behind: lone lamppost
spilling glint across filigree and pomade,
skimming even wrought iron with a sheen
of pale sand. Sending it outward,
out here where we keep our images mobile.
That lost hour went somewhere, surely—
out there ready to bank back home
one October midnight, deeper into this
flattened century. Some half-full moon
of the future, and under it a wind-up bird.
Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet
Tulips, Water, Ash
University Press of New England
Copyright © 2009 by Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission