January 9, 2011

Kelly Moffett

WHITE FLOWER ON RED EARTH OR WHILE ON RETREAT WITH FIVE WOMEN STRANGERS AND REALIZING MYSELF AS WIFE
                                                        Title after Georgia O’Keeffe

Today, the red squirrel eats the raisins I left the day before.
My tongue tasted the same sweetness.
On the porch, chatter.
But that, too, needs attention. Every sound has reason.
Like this morning, when I asked what bayed from the fields at four.
The women, all farm girls once, said: cow in labor.
This is something I should know.
While I slept, a life fell in.
Yesterday, one stalk of wild rhubarb roadside led me to the certainty:
I am here because my marriage is failing.
Back home, I flutter. Never stop.
But everything is a gentle whir here.
Even the Lady Gethsemani statue and her sign: pray, pray, pray.
And beside her, the gravestone marked Rosalina Healer. What irony.
All day I make trails. Feed every animal I see.
Give a grasshopper my sandwich heel.
Butterflies my toast and honey.
Birds, birds, birds. Eat my grapes. Please.
It isn’t until later I understand the molting I am trying to force.
As if one skin could replace another.
But there is magic as well.
This evening, heading back to town, a flock of butterflies
walked with me.
And I became the center of their movement.
Every few of my steps, they leapt too.
We formed a kind of rhythm.
This is what I want. Husband-wife rhythm.
But it has become too much to ask.

from Rattle #33, Summer 2010