Caroline Misner


A Trail of Peanuts


A Trail of Peanuts

Today nothing green will grow,
so I paint leaves on the trees
and hope for a good root.

You stand at the window
at dawn, in nothing
but your bleached under shorts
in the hitch
of our first apartment together.
Hands on hips, cloudy light
claims your skin
through the curtain’s garden shadow.
My eyes roll like stringy marbles
beneath my fists, kneading out
the meanness of unfiltered sleep
pocked with patchy dreams.

You lift the sash, spring
air, fragrant and blue, occupies
the bough of an oak, old lady’s
garden, the landlord’s acre.
Gravid buds swell like nipples
suckling the morning wind.

The peanuts wobble in papery husks
as they fall from your hand;
you arrange them in rows
on the sill, guileless as the moon.

There is a greyness
to the morning. The black
squirrel with the curved brush
of tail he carries like a sceptre
leaps from a branch. He kneels
at the window, small dark knight,
regal as a hunchback, onyx drops
for eyes. He’s skittish
as a schizophrenic, batting the air
with splayed paws. He gathers
this bounty, stuffs it in his
mouth-sac; there’s room for more.

The window slides shut, neatly
as a lid over an eye. Below,
the flagstones are speckled
with new grass; they echo
the clack of his departure.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 21, 2009
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