Homesick and far asleep from angels after drink,
I dream myself blessed—prodigal, born again
beneath these many stars, inheriting nothing I deserve.
I dream back the dogwood just beyond Mother's window,
the brief snow of its bloom, and my white-haired father
warming his cupped hands over coffee, prescribing work.
I dream back my brothers in youth, wide-shouldered
and willing against the weight muscled out of freight cars,
and the great engines recoupling, rocking their emptied beds
darkly out of sight. I dream into the midnight
of childish things: puzzles & picture books & story's end
and the slippered footsteps of my sisters like leaves whispering
across the floors of a moonlit house. And I dream the house—
its slant roof and simple door skeined among limnings
of cloud and sky in that distance deepened towards morning
where soon I must be waking back into the future
of some eldest room, rising to a window
which opens & continues to open
into its secret, its wonder, what's left to be done.
Musing upon the first meager return
of our slight volume into world, we cock mending spine
over the rope and pull, surprised how easily
for once the mower's engine turns.
Across the merely rented grass & scree
of an otherwise hungover Saturday afternoon,
we are blading shoulders to the task
of being happy with what we've got: the present
of the present humming along like bees
fumbled beneath our gloved hands. And eased
once more among the dandelions whose lenten
heads we're lopping off or likewise are gassed
by lying down simply into that future
whose petals become the mustard on the dog,
one considers between luxury & labor
the gift of necessity: how from whim is wrung
an odd bitterness lending savor to the view
of greened horizon, dung upon our shoes.