By mid-September the nights
in Maryland are already cool. Across my
lawn chair’s white porcelain arm, a
spider drags his flat shadow like a farmer
inspecting his soybean field.
In Tampa, my grandfather stoked
blue ashes from his fireplace as flames leapt
like bobcats into our darkened living room.
When I was quite young, visiting
Tampa, peacocks wandered through
my bedroom window. Around six in the
morning, their stained-glass cries were sad
epiphanies, one of the earliest signs that
I was not alone in the universe.
A pale maple leaf, with one tiny
ink-stain of yellow, falls from September’s
THROUGH THE DARKNESS
from a cigarette lighter.
in a crowded supermarket
I feel their
in my pockets
as I loiter
the syrupy yogurts,
cartons of butter
Native American princesses,
& cheese slices
individually wrapped in cellophane.
early Christmas morning,
a black handle
on a tin pie;
by the fact
that I cranked
My mother sang
the blackbird song,
prodding my diminutive imagination
to consider birds
hatching inside my pie.
I was mesmerized
by the birds’
black dots for eyes,
from a tin pie.
that black handle
to see where
eventually got stuck
in the pie’s tin opening,
like goose down
I toddled by,
© Alan Britt
Alan Britt’s new book, Vegetable Love, is out from March Street Press, 2009: