Late April Sunrise



The wind, that ocean where each kind

Does straight it’s own resemblance find



An island of dark

drifts westward from the garage,

quince leaves shoaling in shadow

like the massed fish of reefs.

But across the garden,


flooded green of the yard,

a lagoon of sunlight


I wade toward a shore

of early peas and onions,

spangled grass behind me

flashing like a wake.


Grown heavy again

out of water, I pause, still drowsy,

at that tidy earth’s edge.

My eyes fill with sun.

What is this creature I am,

drawn to rise and walk

each morning

up from the finned, ancient tide

of sleep where I turned

without weight

in my dreams,

tilled nothing,

lived without hands,

sucked salt and gold

through my gills?


Nostrils flared,

eyes sharp on the warblers

bright as new leaves in the maple,

I turn like a beast

just come ashore,

sniffing startling air:

soil and rot and harvest,

smoke, piss, straw,

squirrels walnuts buried in the rows.


Work’s earthen greetings

warm the muscles of my back,

loosen my shoulders and chest.

A fresh breeze, like the fathoms of my past,

eddies away behind me.