Emily Wilson

Rookie (1968 / Ohio / United States)

Fish Rises, Dark Brown Muscle Turns Over - Poem by Emily Wilson

rings diminish, duck reflects flight then threads off
Long branch of land, rusted oaks smoldering
fawn shore, grasses bare scripts of green
black fingerbones of the willows, splayed
rubric fringe of the reeds at the edge of water
The reflection is its own blurred dream
The blended edges, furred thing
tawny path of stalks brushed into gray slope behind
Bright yellow mostly gone now, the dominance
of dulled bronze, ochrous, ferrous grooves of
the several oaks
The wrought planes and hinges of things
Strange, held-off symmetry, axis of waterline
rubbed, smeared, edge-shifted
What is real then made more so through
an intervention of element
The chipmunk's tail jerks in synch with its mouth-pops
Stares hard at me from a dead willow stump
Who are you and what have you done?
Things moving in the leaves behind me.
Dog barks from far across fields
Single bird oars across lake
The sky deep in: dark oxygens
crimp of leaf edging in dried weed stalk
miniature seedpods held forward
calligraphic against gray water, white stones
chipmunk-rustle, upturn duff, chirp storm whirl off, hold still
hold still
Gravity picks and fidgets

How each blade and bract is angled just so
arches, etched kerns
scroll of deft beech leaf
Baroque script of dried vines
their wall of texture coming down
Crows burr into woods
fish plinks through and slacks under
ducks quilt across sky, through sky-water
mottled beads hovering, unchaining
Reflection is a real thing set
in perpetual motion, as if electron
spinning and jittering made visible
the static progressions
The waving laminations of white stone
the wandering rift through
the pulse-veins
Breathing thing, made to breathe, graven so

Now the delicate hammers
pure cuts of bird
steel rings reassembling
Quit path under oak
Something moves off a dark road
Deep-embroidered quiet
the tickets slip
thicket in
meter-tick of duck taking off
keep close, brush close to surface
furl between bird and mirror-bird
I am vested in sensation
a suspension of yellow maple amid stalks of oak
distillate of leaves
saffron particulate
Deep sea of trees, fanned tops of oak corals, collective bend
fast tappers high up
flapping across water
back up the damp trough
trees closing in
two deer pick across, turn back
clatter through woods
encircling


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Poem Submitted: Monday, July 21, 2014

Poem Edited: Monday, July 21, 2014


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