tanka

tanka--
small songs I sing
to join
my voice to other voices
hidden in the grass

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Rosewood Bird


summer mornings
your whistled tune
a bridge
into wakefulness
the valley echoes

tying the kite
to the lilac hedge
to sail alone
all afternoon you fashion
tethered dreams

fragrant shavings
curl from the planer
the child fancies
manes and beards
for a plywood menagerie

the birds you made
feeding their young
and flying
somehow
on mahogany wings

shape engrained
already in the seed
your hands
that guide the chisel
at the lathe

fitting the brass lid
on the memory jug
blue and white crockery
shattered into shards
your scarred hands made whole

summer evenings
the glow of your cigarette
under the elms
your gaze
far down the river valley

still folded
in a trunk
the sweater I wore
the day I learned
what you had done


 Twenty Years Tanka Splendor, 2009 (AHA Books). 
Three-way tie for winning sequence in the 20th Tanka Splendor Awards Contest.

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