Deborah J. Shore

The Round Glade

Meadow without stumps or brush
bounded by tall, wind-whacked pine,
both the living and the bare snags.
My hymns
know their ambit,
back, as though
the ghost-theater of trees
hears and repeats
hears        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 droplets,

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.

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Copyright 2004 Avatar Review
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