His Black-Eyed Susans
People make so much fuss
about flowers, he’d say,
but after he died we found
his camera with a film in it.
He’d only taken seven shots,
all of his flower beds -
pink and white Petunias,
Lobelia, purple, white,
and a stand of yellow
Time is now magnolia,
wax candles light trees
bring stark beauty
for first days of opening.
Bold blossoms poise while leaves begin.
The stone wall is lit by worship.
It is morning.
Three swans fly over the estuary
their necks outstretched.
They hold formation
just above the water.
This is spring’s song
three swans in flight
magnolias in bloom.
On Bringing Up Girls
Aren’t you going to clip her wings?
they said, That’s usual for a girl her age, isn’t it?
We said we didn’t want to clip her wings
and they watched our little daughter grow
bright and strong, then they said
Aren’t you going to tie her feet? That’s
advisable for a young girl, isn’t it?
We said we didn’t want to tie her feet
so they saw a young woman growing
clear and brave. Before they could say anything else
we said, Now it is time to teach her to fly.
They fell back.
They are teaching her to fly, they repeated,
teaching her to fly.
How wonderful, murmured their daughters,
and how interesting.