Deborah J. Shore
The Round Glade
Meadow without stumps or brush
bounded by tall, wind-whacked pine,
both the living and the bare snags.
know their ambit,
back, as though
the ghost-theater of trees
hears and repeats
But those nested boughs don't listen
unless a woodland bird pecks or sings.
A bellflower rings.
Here I learn the curve of notes,
the rounding of empty.
Cucumbers climb over the trellis,
five rows of sweet peas, side by side.
Yi-Jao and I trade pattycakes, our legs
dappled with blades of grass.
Mrs. Yee's feet, curled
like drying leaves,
shuffle into her slippers
on the porch; she nods, lifts
the nozzle and mists water
into air beetled with metallic green.
White moths flutter
between breaths of her atonal song
learned when she was a little girl
before the soldiers came to Nanking.
Before we grew
in her garden.