The road is dust, the pines, tents of green in the far distance. In the fields, buttercups and dandelions dapple the pastures,
and one nervous bee, now dropping into a blue tulip’s demitasse cup.
What ecstasy this is I can only imagine,
as it soars out to the sunlit sky, and diminishes—
leaving the afterthought of its honey here, on my tongue.
To a Crepe Myrtle
When you die, there will always be more from you, not less.
When your timbers are cut, and bundled up as trusses for panels of railroad cars,
or the wild silk of your panicles woven into Indian saris;
when you stand upright as a wooden soldier in a toy shop’s lighted store front,
when you come full circle into the forests of dust.
Judith Harris is the author of three books of poetry–Night Garden, The Bad Secret, and Atonement–and a critical book, Signifying Pain: Constructing and Healing the Self Through Writing. Her poetry has appeared in The Hudson Review, The Nation, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Slate, The New York Times Blog, The Southern Review, and American Life in Poetry. Her essays on poetry have appeared in The Writer’s Chronicle, Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, and Midwest Quarterly. She is also a recipient of a Yaddo fellowship.
Header photo by Anettphoto, courtesy Shutterstock.