It and Not It
The children that run in the skeletal remains
of what was once a great public pasture
of ornamental grasses and trees decorating themselves
with bulbous fruits, red and brown,
alien jewels or swollen bellies or
the freshly laid eggs of an imagined bird.
Under the dried-out corpses of those once colored trees,
the children chase.
They chase one another- it and not it
it and not it
in the solemnly fading light
of a weary February sun.
Novices at the sacred sport of watching games
would think that they are having fun
while they flee like unbroken stallions
bursting through the futile walls of an old pine gate.
They are wrong.
I am an experienced bench-sitter, a veteran of winter splinters,
I lived the renaissance of watching games
and I can tell you
firmly tell you
that they are afraid.
They know how other children hunt
with gnashing teeth and hot, hot blood
because they have all been hunters before.
While Wearing Cotton
Cotton sometimes doesn’t feel like cotton
against the bareness of your skin
that conjoining of water balloons
slopping against some scratchy inch.
Cotton sometimes feels like dying
or the things that have already been dead
like a dog that wandered too far off,
thirst radiating from that summer-soaked coat.
The dog’s bones sank into the dry earth
into the sea of cackling cotton plants,
their stalks not bothered to bend
to look down
to feel remorse.
Cotton sometimes feels like, no, tastes like
the grainy salt, the taste of sweat,
the flesh that hangs itself up in the air too long
the deluge of work and tears and nine hours trudging
from dry knuckle to dry knuckle
working on some wizened loom
or a hand-me-down machine
of stitch-this and stitch-that
of needle dance
or tired eyes
or hollow hopes for going home.