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

Form:


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

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 )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  4. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  5. If, Rudyard Kipling
  6. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  8. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  10. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe

Poem of the Day

poet Oscar Wilde

(In memoriam
C. T. W.
Sometime trooper of the Royal Horse Guards
obiit H.M. prison, Reading, Berkshire
July 7, 1896)

I

He did not wear his scarlet coat,
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Ruth Stone

 

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. Almost Gone..., Leonard Champlin
  2. Who are you, ms. carrot
  3. More love...sort of., Leonard Champlin
  4. All Who Remain, John F. McCullagh
  5. The Life, Leonard Champlin
  6. SECOND DREAMS, Dwitun Basumatary
  7. BUTTERFLIES AND ROGUES, Dwitun Basumatary
  8. LAUGH OF THE SHE PROFESSOR, Dwitun Basumatary
  9. What If...?, Leonard Champlin
  10. HEARTQUAKES, Dwitun Basumatary
[Hata Bildir]