for Robert’s mother
The loft of leaf joined to limb, the green heat
of noon tucked in the hems of tree, air slow,
its swelter and flow an unwavering clock
of light sifted twig to twig to dull cast
of dusk. And voices say to eat. The moon
is halved. Voices say to rest. Waxing
must wait for the wane. For the barren box, slight
only in earth’s dirt heart. Pinpricks of night wither
at the heron’s rasp. Shapes havoc sullen screens.
Don’t wake me from this wide sea tiding out
to ocean. I follow the whale’s great tail.
I follow in wake the small boy who grips
firm the fin. I will follow him to water’s
deepest night, when from sight lost, form lingers,
then crests the current home, and I too rise.