Never mind what you think.
The old man did not rush
Recklessly into the coop the last minute.
The chickens hardly stirred
For the easy way he sang to them.
Red sun is burning out
Past slag heaps of the mill. The old man
Touches the blade of his killing knife
With his fat thumb.
I’ m in the backyard on a quilt
Spread out under the heavy dark plums
He cooks for his whiskey.
I watch the woods for deer as if I’ m armed.
I watch the woods for deer who never come.
I know the hes and shes in autumn
rendezvous in orchards stained with fallen
apples’ scent. I drive my car this way to work
so I may let the crows in corn believe
it’ s me their caws are meant to warn,
and snakes who turn in warm and secret caves
A boy who knew enough to save for something
like the whim that took me downtown on the bus
one lost Saturday morning of my mother’ s birthday,
I sat in the back where the gasoline smell
made me dizzy and I closed my eyes but didn’ t
think of her, only of myself, basking in the light
and love that would fall down on me when I