I just walked 143 steps from the porch door to the plastic pagoda.
Five robins work the lawn.
My ten toes are soaked with dew.
The earth spins a thousand miles an hour.
The moon floats in the sky two continents over the treetops.
I am standing where the beaver chewed down the aspens.
I am standing in a scattering of feathers where the Barred Owl died.
I am fingering a clear green marble I dug from the ground.
I polish it with spit and my shirt hem,
roll it in my palm, hold it up to the sun and squint.
I am thinking now of that girl from the state hospital.
It is 1984, it is Petersburg, Virginia,
it is the August of our suffering heat.
We exist for a God whose mood swings like Poe’s pendulum.
He sends us twenty million locusts so we will love Him.
She is white as a grub.
Her hair is autumn brown.
Her eyes are green as the antifreeze
poured by her gloved hand to sweeten the dinner tea.
She grinds her teeth at night now before her guests in her dreams.
I am lying in the green grass between the green stumps of the aspens.
I am holding a green feather to my green heart.
Green clouds drift across the green sky.
I lick my green lips with my green tongue,
close my green eyes, settle to the green core of the earth.
~ Kent Monroe
Kent Monroe lives with a delightful gang of cats and dogs in Troy, New Hampshire. He prefers to garden and write, but also works here and there to feed the gang. His words have appeared inVirginia Quarterly Review, New England Review, and The Write Room.
Featured artwork: “Mad tea party”, by Abigail Larson