I could tell you of the hard hail of sixpences
on this speckly jumper with its barbed wire holes
and the elbow gash from knowing’s use
where the mousing cat snoozles in,
or the sudden whack to the face
the first time words stub into you from love’s slammed door,
a teenage death before experience cures.

But there’s a black cockatoo on a drawn branch
one eye primed ready to launch if I move,
a jerky breeze would be the dissolution of me.

I could sing you the soft rime of an artichoke’s glory
wrapping the curate’s tonsure in unexpected daze,
where below the unspeaking tongue of my leathers
the cut down stalk shouts out with new emphasis
biding a season in just two steps away.

How love has no redemption date or return to sender
no use by in a business envelope without address,
the withdrawal notice pinned within these vestments.

That wind and wing have the measure of the duty in us all
taking the hat with loosed sun glasses,
the stuffing falls through the stake goes over
pantalooned chickens fossick the seeds of my charge here.
And way down, in the remnant of a once cyan sweater
pushy prickly leaves will weave their rise again.

Published in Impspired 2019

Claude Monet The Sheltered Path 1873

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