How from Politeness to the Trees

Solstice dabbles behind the hills, whitefire at the horizon well into what should be evening, well into after, meting out to what should be the privacy of night illumination enough to fray the sky.   

Black wings snuff out the owlish air in the cottonwood’s elephant silhouette, readying a backlit section of branches for the wind’s beckoning, the shush of each restacking wing not an endearment exactly, but close.

The one track mind combs the mown meadow for the word bristling beneath cut tongues of grass, which is the word of the scavenging animal whose prayer is most like the light’s gestures on the seventh longest day of the century’s seventh year, which undo themselves expertly.

Lightning precedes thunder the way the river precedes stone through untrammeled channels of interface, visitors and visiteds and the rain, pricking.

To the voice that calls in the woods, Come back, I’ll throw the stone you whimpered for, the animal demurs, is perfection, is diminishing, does not pause to look back.

This earth-in-paragraph recovers its fathomlessness subsequent to jackknifing grass.


Copyright © 2008 by Cecily Parks. “How from Politeness to the Trees” originally appeared in Field Folly Snow (University of Georgia Press, 2008). Used with permission of the author.