Who Will Water the Garden
now that we’ve left the crumbling world behind,
each unchosen side road mute,
each crow flown away from the power lines?
Home was a pause in the empty intersection under light-rumbled skies,
a gold-toned mom and pop whistlestop,
orange evening life, always on the move.
We time traveled back to buttered toast and coffee,
while behind the house, the horses stumbled.
We will paint the walls of this cellar as if it were still the foundation.
Those days we were always so caught being small between the poles;
all I knew was underground: bodies piled on bodies.
Power lines bend into catenaries reaching to catch and fling back time:
When I was twelve my parents, remembering Ibsen, sold my dollhouse.
The heavyset woman with the frail orange hair talked too loud.
No need for church with spirit in cloud and electrified cross.
Every mile we cross (windows clattering in echo of loose gravel on the road) the intersection of possibility
Birthing the house halted at the crossroads where electric lines dissect the storm,
fine-veined marble, green as our daughter's eyes.
Who has set this humble door of gold to shimmer between road dust and storm cloud?
It’s hard to open the door of a moving house,
shuttered against the oncoming storm.
The door is small and fleeting, but the heart behind it storms toward a new season,
knits together stormclouds over this roving crossroads of home and sky,
the sifted stones of a failed foundation.
The road will shatter underneath these open windows,
clouds to clouds, dust to dust.
The road leads only to clouds.
In this parallax, I assume departure. Come back white door. Come back yellow light.
I never missed that yellow, and I was never sorry.
My smallest dreams are golden.
This ekphrastic exquisite corpse was created during National Poetry Month 2015 in response to the above artwork. The poem was cobbled together from lines posted by the following poets: Rebecca F. Ross, Annie Stenzel, Katy Brown, HB, Ivy, Connie Post, Kierstin Bridger, Charity Parrott, Jeanine Stevens, Tanya Greer, Cati Porter, Julia Park Tracey, Liz Tynes Netto, Emma Schmitz, Anna Marie, Ann Privateer, Meryl Natchez, Lynne Thompson, Janet Trenchard, Casey Gardner, Jeanette Nicole, Alice Anderson, Roz Levine, Deb Jensen, Suzanne O'Connell, Karen Terry, PD Weddington, Allie Batts, Raina Leon, L.A. Jones, Mary Pacifico Curtis, Carlena Wike, Wendy Esterás, Mary, Devon Moore, Pamela Murray Winters, Lindsay Lewis Smithson, Donna Vorreyer, Minal Hajratwala, EK Switaj, Yu-Han Chao, Shika Malavia, Ellen Kombiyil, Amanda Chiado, and Jessica Lindsley. The black lines link to the website of the poet who wrote the line, with the exception of, "knits together stormclouds over this roving crossroads of home and sky," which links to two different poets. We weren't able to include every line contributed, but we thank all of the poets for their participation!
West Trestle Review