Cultivation

Standard

image

Did you see my garden, by the way?
Petunias and rose bushes
The birds fill the bath and heartbeat
Summer cicadas sing choruses of
Chichachicha and the z’s and z’z

Flowers or stars?
When it is dark enough
Indistinguishable–
Prolific as Perseid

Women are rock stars
Make their own gardens
Are gardens
A heavenly dirt
Stars or flowers?

Soil of the womb
Flesh of the mind
Minding flesh like flowers
Against a dark field
Hearted nebulas

Exquisite Corpse
Andrew, Anne, Dana, Julie, Tricia
August 2015

Matter

Standard

When he pulled on his Union Jack socks
and clipped the bow tie in place
thirty years ago
he didn’t know
that night would lead him
to banana spiders spinning webs
outside his bedroom window
a back lawn crawling with cicadas
their song as loud as a jet’s engine
Planet X spawned dreams
germinated in third grade
realized
three moons of Pluto discovered
two babies named
one kidney donated
a strawberry topped mountain saved

When he first saw her on the steps
of the Yale blue house
hands veiled in white cotton
a pearl button
resting against each clear wrist
he didn’t imagine
nebulas and dark matter
could occupy the same space
he understood relativity
only theoretically
and still had absolute faith
in gravity’s pull

August 2015
Julie Ayers

Design Flaws

Standard

image

I wish I were different
a more gifted mother
who could crack the world wide
for my tremble fingered children
their hands not designed for a lifetime
of tumbling standard locks

Instead I am just this
remedial version mother
well-intentioned
and tremble hearted
not optimally designed for a lifetime
that demands single-touch cures and water walking

July 2015
Julie Ayers

inevitable as green

Standard

image

morph it
use a wrench
and monkey it
to sloth
or dove
let it sleep
tucked in
swaddled tightly
under wraps
hoodie up
head down
dig the full six feet
and lower it slowly
or dump it unceremoniously
drive it to the woods
and throw a final bone
for it to chase into the underbrush
speed away

in a week     a month     tomorrow
it will righten
spin back round
and assume its perfect
standard shape
bare
and resurrected
pigeoning home
leaner
and slightly more soiled
catching you at the window
where you’ve been all along
reglazing panes of glass
rather than mortaring stone
waiting
anxious
and covertly hopeful
you’d see it crest again
moving homeward

July 2015
Julie Ayers

maternal

Standard

image

freshly laundered
folded
wrapped in tissue paper
and sealed in a plastic bag
she’d tucked it
in the back of a cupboard
even though she’d told you
it had disintegrated in the washer

held you as you cried
and handed you a corner of blue
she said she’d managed to salvage
a soft, small piece of comfort
not even large enough
to absorb the falling tears

one day
forty something years later
you open a package she’s sent
filled with odds and ends
she’s clearing out
crocheted doilies
wooden dolls hand painted
by your grandmother
antique pantaloons
and paper-thin, cotton camisoles

between the exquisite scraps
you uncover the blue
of the blanket that swaddled you
full of holes
but mostly whole
worn but still more than enough
much like her love
always there
even when you were certain
it must not exist

May 2015
Julie Ayers