Drought

Once we were roisterous monsters,
coarse and unchangeable, indebted
to no one, indigenous to nowhere,
incumbents to battlefields, beholders
of ghosts. All our joys were clotted
with pearls, all our griefs were denied
with stone, all our words were bald-faced
bricks, all our lanterns were fueled
with turpentine and salt.

This plague, this rain
of nails, this slow-moving
barrage, not as percussive
as artillery but just as sheering,
has harried our bodies into staves
and cudgels. We are needle-stemmed
and weather-marked, our backbones
burned with sloth, our skin, our bark,
gravelled with dearth. We have become

smaller,
somber,
solitary,
rooted

in dust, a few scrubby curiosities
without bounden shoals, collected
into unclosed museums.

__________________

copyright © 2010 lcmt

5 thoughts on “Drought

  1. This poem, “Drought,” is really well written. It almost stubbornly painted the feelings out. This could be about maturing or the pangs of unrelenting war.

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  2. I am fond of weeds and have encountered many charming wild flowers by neglecting my garden. But burr clover and foxtail possess no virtue as far as I can see, and I dislike the burly invaders that disrupt my pavers.

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  3. We live on the dry side of a mountain slope. It is mandated that we clear the tall grasses and weeds that get very tall. A few years ago we had a fire that burned just below our home. Yikes! I know what you mean though. I am always telling my husband, “oh don’t pull that, it’s pretty,” he tells me it’s just a weed. Some weeds are pretty. : )

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