DAWN WEEPS GOLD THROUGH MY MISDEEDS
for Ginny Dawson
My friend rows out beyond the bells
and I cannot go with her.
I should have been more careful,
should have weeded out the white fingers
of birch crowding the bitternut hickory,
sumac invading the well-shaped yew.
But now the blackbirds of this early
summer morning ruffle up
from wet grass settling low
on the hemlock that grows wild
by the stream, squawking,
chucking, then off they startle
to light again among the overgrowth.
Each pauses, sleek, elegant, heeding
some symmetry between them.
They teach me patience. Rudbeckia
gone rogue in the kitchen garden
teaches me to reach. The bats
are tucked in for sleep, having worked
the night shift in silence. They teach me to see.
Pam Bernard has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Writing, two Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowships, a MacDowell, as well as the Pablo Neruda and Grolier Prizes. TriQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, Cimarron Review, Barrow Street, and Nimrod are among the journals where she has been published. Of four published books, three are full-length collections of poetry, while a novel-in-verse, entitled Esther, was published last spring by CavanKerry Press.