Ann Arbor Review

INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

Geoffrey Philip
Joseph McNair
Chris Lord
Coleman Barks
Dave Etter
Elisavietta Ritchie
Sam Cornish
Duane Locke
Karyn Wolven
Marisella Veiga
Michael D. Long
Running Cub
Joanie Freeman
Alan Britt
Shutta Crum
Steve Beaulieu
Gerald Clark
Mary E. Finlan
Fred Wolven

FARM LESSONS

The first summer
we picked the blackened peaches
and threw them away.

The second summer
we picked the blackened peaches
and found
the fruit was good beneath the skin.
That winter we ate
sweet summertime
from quart jars.

The third summer
we picked breast-shaped pears
but found the golden skin
was false.
Inside the rot
was waiting.

The next summer
we picked apples,
and stood in the tall grass
beside brown paper bags
half-filled with heavy fruit.
About us leaves fell
onto their impatient edges.
The one we chose to test
was not perfect.
The one we chose
              was perfect.


THE TELLING
           (for Gerry)

The snap of ice-cracking booms across the frozen lake.
Dark clouds scurry past and huddle above the tree-lined shore.
We have struggled across this ice with heads bent into the wind,
carried our words like children bound in caribou skin,
and stepped into foot prints we no longer question.
              Yesterday, everyday--
              they were always ours.

Our companion, the relentless surge of water to shore.
Beneath the ice, waves constant as the heart beating,
pregnant as the cold gasp of first breath.

Upon the lake the snow-laced wind begins its sleight-of-hand--
the disappearing act of footprints.
Our trail yields to the indecipherable sweep.
I kneel, stiffened fingers working at ice-encrusted bindings.
You find a branch, and drag it to the hopeful fire.

Smoke rises above the amphitheater of hemlock;
the fire crackling as flame meet ice.  The lake holds.
And our telling, when we free it,
cries out to the dark wing reeling above alder boughs.



Shutta Crum, Ann Arbor, Michigan

 


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