Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Winter Wheat



I tried to make a bargain with the morning

Out on the dirt road

Frozen hard.

I said,

"I will swap you one of my dreams--"

But she shook her hair, the way straight women do;

(It was made of slanting light--

I could see right through)

Her boredom made my joints ache,

And kind of pissed me off, too.



I did something bad to the morning,

And had all I could handle

Rolling her down into the half ice of the river.

Ever seen a girl like her fall off a star?

The river held her for just a moment,

Then cracked its bones

And let her fall.

She sank

Like my heart does

Whenever you leave my little room.



I came back and told you what I'd done to the morning,

Though you were still sleeping

With one hand under your pillow

And the other

Waiting for me to kiss it

And fill it with wet delicious cherries.



What I had wanted from the morning

Was to swap out one of my dreams

(One of the good ones, with lightning and talking cats and fields of winter wheat grown high in a Kansas July)

For a simple promise:

That you would stay.

That you would wrap your body around mine and not leave;

That I could bury my face in your coarse black hair and breathe,

As if it were smoke from a smudge stick,

Keeping devils away.



But I killed the morning,

And left her blankly tossing her hair at the bottom of the river.

You will wake up, see the time,

And those perfect hands of yours will only grace cold car keys

While I kiss the devil

And call her by your name.

________

20 comments:

Jannie Funster said...

What's that B.S. up there about your being Poet Of The Week?! You're poet of the freaking century, Shay!

It's like being alive to blog with Dickinson, Whitman, Sandburg and the bunch.

xoxo

ellen abbott said...

oh yes, morning comes and then day follows and dreams go down the tube.

Cori Lynn Berg said...

Oh something in this really rang true for me.... making any sort of deal to keep the one you love? Lovely.. I like the wave of a storyline that flows through this one...

Helen said...

Stellar poem ... your work deserves recognition! Bravo.

Eric Alder said...

I think this belongs in a book, along with so many others you've written.

(You've certainly NOT fallen off your star, Shay! You're soaring!)

Kay said...

sounds like one of those relationships where the deal with the night was made first, and can never be returned...

take what you can get...?

nah!

dance with the devil instead! :)

Marion said...

Shay, you get better and better with each post. I love this. It's just plain AWESOME!

Love & Blessings,
Marion

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Yes, indeed we are reading one of the Greats here, kids.It just knocks me off my chair that I can click on this link and get sent right over the moon with admiration. I love this one. Love the cracking bones of the river that let her in, the lightning and talking cats that grace your poems....and the wanting love to stay, as do we all, with the sad fact that it only ever rarely does.

Sigh. Beautiful and romantic and perfect as a Kansas wheatfield in July.

hedgewitch said...

As everyone else is saying, this deserves publication, as so many of your poems do. Who do we need to kidnap, torture and hold to ransom for this? I'm up for it.

I wouldn't have trusted the morning with that deal anyway...it would be midnight before you knew it and she'd be renegin'

Lynn said...

Awesome poem, Shay.

signed...bkm said...

Shay you are definitely on a roll, this is brillant and ditto on hedgewitch...the title is FAB too..

this is you at you best...and i love it...bkm

Cloudia said...

Top Form!


Each line crystal and granite!

You rock



Aloha from Hawaii, Sis

Comfort Spiral

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Ellen aka Ella said...

Wow,so many thoughts reading this and how well you painted the imagery around a dream!
Great job~

Hannah Stephenson said...

Congrats on poet of the week, dear! And a very happy new year.

Shadow said...

absolutely superb. once again.

Tabitha Bird said...

Wow. Just Wow. I want to be like you when I grow up :)

Mama Zen said...

This is beyond amazing. A new favorite of mine.

TALON said...

The imagery...just amazing...the writing even more so...

moondustwriter said...

forget the coffee
something stiffer - like a sledge hammer

lukepraterswordsalad said...

Solid work