Sunday, March 09, 2008
Riding the tiger
Then there are tapes, videotapes, vinyl records, and books, books, books. If you make notebooks or scrapbooks, there are those also.
Here's my poem about it. It is slightly revised from the way it appeared in the Laurel Review fourteen or fifteen years ago. I was so proud that there was a poem by Walter Pavlich on the facing page!
Not Like The Red Paint Peoples' Burials
Cause of death unknown, and, like my father,
too natural to autopsy, a Brewer's blackbird
drops from phone wires above us,
she leaves no books, no photograph albums, no polyester raiment.
No mourners now assemble; although soon,
ants will string a line across the pavement.
How could we honor from this sidewalk
her flexed claw lifting upward
if she had fallen ten feet from us in the weeds,
or witness the regard of her still unclouded eye?
Not like the Red Paint Peoples' burials:
his face down, head to the west, auk beaks in whorls
over his body's red ochre covering. Not armed
with a bone dagger, patterned with aligned dots.
Nor ornamented like her young body
with a necklace of teeth—nor supplied
with a waterbird engraved on an ivory comb.
But dressed only in brown feathers,
cooling on cement, still so warm
the tiny lice in the neck feathers suspect no change.
June Hopper Hymas
at 11:37 PM