Tuesday, July 21, 2015

revision #2


I go looking for you late
at night in Maycomb, roam
leafy streets of pages shaded
by chinaberry trees,
saunter to the courthouse
to swap lies and swat
flies with the Idlers Club,
not one of them boys able
to recollect having seen hide nor hair of you. 
Maybe drift down to the Quarters, slip
into the First Purchase African M.E. Church
blessed salvation the best Reverend Sykes
can offer when I ask after you; 
relieved not to glimpse you at
midnight among the ugly
jail house mob that mills
beneath the barrels
of Mr. Underwood’s twelve gauge. 
Was that you waiting for stamps
when Bob Ewell spit phlegmy venom
into the face of Atticus Finch
on the post office corner?  Head down,
hoeing snap beans when Tom Robinson
was shot dead escaping?  By and by, blind
Tim Johnson will stagger up Main,
Calpurnia, she’ll peer through the curtains,
Heck Tate will hold his breath
as Atticus draws a bead, rimless
spectacles sacrificed once again,
but you’ll be elsewhere,  
hiding between the covers
of some different book. 

Isle Royale


We shoulder packs and 

tack a stitch from  

Daisy Farm to Moskey Basin, 

a rash of cairn marching  

up and over upturned 

bedrock faces, hands of old 

men and their wives 

tented in evening prayer.