Cattail History

The lake dry; it seethes.
Rust creeps through
brittle reeds, seeps into
the rustling seed-heads—
one stalk bows
beneath the weight
of the blackbird’s feet.

From the path edge
the fat lizard barks,
a silent croak.
He pivots, sprints over sticks,
plunges into shallow hole.

His dull eyes glowing in the hole—

The late heat spreading, prickling
the inside of our faces—

an earth crumbles away
around us, scales
dropping from the eye.

And I love you, and I think
time is mind—
our heads globes
of unsifted time.

A disc of mist floats up,
brightens above the live oak.

Far grass tips wave, bend, flow.
The doom is in their roots too—
but it is still so early,

the sky is still stiffening
to a blue so dark
and clear I shiver

to shake a finer silence
from its skin. 

Copyright © 2016 by Noah Warren. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 14, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.