As soon as possible, I will confront the wren’s
doings, rinse the white streaks from the porch bricks
drawing lizards from their shade, the immediate
smell of water too much for all of us.
But first is lunch. The remains we’ll scatter over
the driveway away from the bricks. Wrens come,
crusts from our dishes make drama. Then history.
What is possible in memory is disingenuous.
Limestone, impressed with the archaic smile
of bone and reptilian wrists, wishbones and feathers,
describes. It cups the transitional form,
naturally selecting one’s best side. There was
the time you forgot your legs no longer
could recall how to stand—then rose up straight and sang
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me
Probably I’ve been thinking of that since August.
The indelible wrens grate like shovels
outside—exhumed, one voice rises from wilderness,
—then another, and,
between them, the keep of an unerring quiet.
Gina Franco, “Archaeopteryx, an Elegy” from The Keepsake Storm. Copyright © 2004 by Gina Franco. Reprinted by permission of University of Arizona Press.
Source: The Keepsake Storm
(University of Arizona Press, 2004)
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