Born to bees (they follow the deer trails
down to drink from the rivers).
Born to call the dog Houdini—
Hoo! Yo, ’Dini!
Born to parlay “First yellow leaves
on the ash trees/Cool breeze up
the backside/Spinach to Popeye.”
Born to Draco, low,
or the lights of town, or home,
or cooking fires off along the mesa—
Lost Horizon in a common poem.
Born to crows’ eyes
the furnace-red of sunrise,
and a country girl, old mosquito bites
up one arm and down the other.
Born to stand and see
as one of the thugs tees up
marbles from my childhood cache
and drives them in bright smithereens
off over the lower town and the harbor.
Copyright © 2020 by Merrill Gilfillan. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 24, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.