Pastoral

A hobby-horse appeals—

This is our wooden meadow,
nest-stolen calves, and our painter Chao,
painting from winter, gets her red cap bitten off.
Ahead, a color monthed. Ahead, the start of storing.
My one dumb eye is a hungry eye,
it pushes sheep through it.
Needle and bundle and the start of
flowered dresses. Lin has potted smooth stones in white soil,
and now they have sprouted selves.

Is this anything to paint with?
I have magnetized pearl buttons to other pearl buttons.
I have waited for any bird to call on me.

And for any constellation. And for any flayed forest.

When I return, even the foxes are white.
They have grass on their backs, which is also
snowed. No one remarks.
I have to lie still until
some life kisses me. Until some animal rotates
himself and settles down in ache.
In surrendered awe and curios.

This is a cut glass collection.
And a cabinet of grass.
A statue made of milk and laid on its side.
Chao says pony. Lin offers cervix,
matrix, wire. But we have landed on silo.
We are thinking of shapes for ourselves.

And ahead, we can see it,
an x-ray and a child. One tremendous head
and a body in bone.
I cannot help thinking,
A hood pulled over our horse's head to keep it asleep.
And we wait, we wait,
chewing wool to perfection—

To shepherd. To pause. Where things begin grazing.
This is some silo for storing. This is some green.



*Published in The Iowa Review