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Lee Passarella


Call of the Wild

Hot July, in a valley of the Shadow:
a hill once packed with pine and oak
tight as a pile of cordwood, gone

to make my company’s new office park
—the Campus, as it’s jocularly called,
this Cadmus’ field of macadam and tinder

grass. Behind the place, from a dying
tulip tree—forest leftover, anorexic slip
all raw long bones and hip blades tottering

above ten lanes of Interstate—a red hawk
calls its mate half a mile away. A mournful
cloying cheecheechee: crazy mismatch

to the bulk of this tented thing that lurches
and kites downwind, like a jinni haunting
a spot where death is a dream of shade....

This week, we filled the swimming pool
at home, our tiny garden by the backdoor
ankle deep with the overflow. Each hot

parched night we hear the frogs
croon love songs in the brief wetland
formed from our profligate days.



Lee Passarella’s poetry has appeared in Chelsea, Cream City Review, Louisville Review, and elsewhere. Passarella has two books of poetry: Swallowed up in Victory (Burd Street Press, 2002) and The Geometry of Loneliness (David Robert Books, 2006); his chapbook is Sight-Reading Schumann (Pudding House Publications, 2007). Passarella serves as literary editor for Atlanta Review and FutureCycle Poetry magazines.

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