Melissa Morphew


Land of Milk and Honey


Like something Biblical, though he is short
and bald and repairs watches in the back room
of Starshine Jewelers—at least he knows how often
time can be askew, broken, stopped dead—

he spends his Sabbath at the Split Silk Baptist Church,
a dry rot ruin circa 1843, the only worshippers
to dart its doors in the last thirty years
brown-gold honeybees. They’ve built their amber-treacled hive
in the hollows of the pulpit.

And he sits in the back on the last sturdy pew,
eating bread and butter, humming “Green Sleeves, ”
lauding his brethren, his sisters, with a saucer
of Ovaltine and tinned molasses.

Sometimes he sleeps
and the bees hover his hair, land on his eyelids
as if he were some exotic hyssop. He welcomes
their strange kisses into his dreams—

dreams filled with the pungent sweetness
of rotting gardenias, odd nostalgia for the name “Split Silk, ”
sounding like spilt milk, or lavender petticoats—muddied,
torn, abandoned on the bank of Jericho creek, where
a Peruvian-lily girl, named Margaret Claire, bends down
to wash mulberry-stains from the curve of her thighs,
the cracked-heels of her feet.

The bees brush his mouth with their rice-paper wings.

When he wakes, a bitter taste of marigold stains his lips.
Sunlight gilds the room in sepia and saffron, as if
he is trapped in a photograph one hundred years
too late, and he has no shadow of strength solid
as the scent of lavender, no miracles up his sleeve.

Submitted: Thursday, March 27, 2008

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Form:


Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Land of Milk and Honey by Melissa Morphew )

There is no comment submitted by members..

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  4. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  5. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  6. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  7. If, Rudyard Kipling
  8. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  9. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
[Hata Bildir]