Poets Walk: "First, the air:"
Location on Poets Walk Map: 94
Notes for a Poem about a Dream about My Daughter in which Moths Unexpectedly Appear by Ralph Black
First, the air: snapped black sheet,
a constellation of bruised plums, cold
like the dull, undangered edge of a knife.
Next, the way the planet swings, rocking
in its tresses, a voice like water,
a mouth like a dish of kisses. Later,
after the weather shifts, clamps down, and
stays, my daughter comes in from the yard,
a white sack behind her trilling with moths—
thousands of orange-winged, red-tipped moths,
eye-spots like a world of vision.
I think for a minute of cottonwood leaves,
the underside of late-maple, or stemless
berries eddied up at the sharp turning of a creek.
I think how flowers can name themselves,
my mouth being shaped by trillium, trillium, trillium.
The laundry bag blooms like a breath, lifts,
and flurries open: and the room fills
with what wings are, my daughter
gleaming at the clever, whirling world,
her hands pulsing with in- and exhalations,
readying us all to be lifted.
Ralph Black, ""Notes for a Poem about a Dream about My Daughter in which Moths Unexpectedly Appear"" from TURNING OVER THE EARTH. Copyright © 2000 by Ralph Black. Reprinted with the permission of Milkweed Editions, www.milkweed.org.