Fritz Ward

(California / United States)

Self-Portrait In Conway, Arkansas


A cloud drags its clubfoot
over the bare sky. The damp grass
imparts subtle, changing
secrets. The cows amble black and white.

This need to see and not be seen
through. Beneath the barbwire's string
of thin infinities, a yellow fist
of daisies wilts beneath a jaundiced ribbon.

I've come without a god
or a tow truck. The gravel so loose
and plural, I fill my pockets
with its burden and, complicit, press my hands

to dirt. There's no comfort in the flowering
of weeds. A feeling now: wet wool
and rotting honeysuckle, a linen handkerchief
turning red in the mason's shaking hand.

So much moonlight in the flattened cornfield
we couldn't possibly go blind. I'll say it once,
and never again.

Submitted: Monday, July 14, 2014
Edited: Monday, July 14, 2014

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