Ann Arbor Review
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
TODAY IS GRAY
All the flowers have gone away, everything is gray,
even the tree leaves cannot wave, once limed with green
holding an unfulfilled promise, they have lost their grip
of the parent twiglets they were conceived from.
All the little weeds that used to poke their fake petal heads
through the cracks in the cement have fallen asleep,
their roots having pulled them back for a nap
under the weight of the hard white blanket.
The birds are not singing, they just hop, small careful hops,
along the bare branches as if they are iron workers
high in the sky looking for rivets to drive along the skeleton,
bones of steel that will be an occupied building by next spring.
One has a way of missing the morning crickets,
that you never see just hear and never miss
until you finally realize on a gray cold day,
that you have not heard from them in a while.
Gone are the noisy night frogs down by the river
that talk in the dark in pollywog sentences,
with a bullfrog swear word thump thump thrown in
once in a while like a bass drum keeping the beat.
The cottonwood seeds like snow have begun to fall today,
and this means all those colorful things are a season's passed,
only shades of white and gray for the next hundred or so days.
Maybe the sun will shine for an hour next week. Maybe not.
THE FALL AND THE RISE
When captured by the underwater, in its blurry flow,
eyes that can still open, only look up to the source of light.
That twig that left the tree in the storm falls into the river,
a Y shape splinter, sap evaporated and tree weary,
stood upright as if walking along pebbles on the bed.
It has no insight to see the burden of the bark,
a covering that must hold in some warmth at night.
As always seems to be, dying is a part of the story.
All the usual birds know their nest well,
the safety of the surround, yet one more fall
will set a new change into motion.
An ejaculated tail feather still repellent floats down
touching only the highest points of the river current,
canoeing around the bend, never to be viewed again.
The flying seed settles gently on the bank blanketed by dust
sprouting an eye of growth only after the rains recede.
A bald-faced hornet haunched in the flight of its last sting
shall never return home to the colony; her job is done.
One sliver of sun, the first bright sword of morning,
tears open the horizon, a spear through the blackness of night;
with or without a single retina pulse, another day will begin.
R. Jay Slais, Romeo, Michigan
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