Rhonda Poem 4: Midsummer

In the afternoon, there is a dazzle

A shimmer in which I walk in trust, blind

To the edge of the stream-cut slash,

Where the tall trees block the sun again,

And the brook lies in sudden clarity.

 

Because it has but recently emerged from light,

It is pristine, it carries nothing, lightly

Run its waves, like children.

 

It moves gently amid the wreck of spring–

Stranded logs, bits of this ‘n’ that from far upstream,

All abandoned to the winds along the banks,

Roots of willow and poplar and spruce,

Trees deep undermined, in a slow topple

Frozen over the water in the heat of summer.

 

Dragonflies in impossible blues and greens

Dart from bank to bank, skimming the waves

On nearly invisible wings.

 

Above, the applause of aspen leaves

In the unfelt breeze.  A single leaf

Falls, spinning, spinning, then caught

And borne off on the breast of the water.

 

For no reason, I raise my arms;

The air is cool as lips.

 

The sunlight flits golden on the waves,

And the water itself seems to float;

It runs through my fingers like hair.

 

The air is cool as lips;

The water, light as hair.

 

Beneath the trees, the heavy scent of humus,

Soft and rich, alive, dappled with sunlight

And violets and the small flowers of wild strawberries.

 

She  and I once lay here together,

And when she stood, I held her hands

When she would brush herself.

She smiled, stained with green and brown,

A sheen of sweat between her breasts,

Her hair hung with leaves and petals,

Transfigured by the sun.

 

We stood in the stream,

And washed away each other,

And this place.

 

But the air is still cool as lips,

The water light as hair,

And the earth soft as memory.

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