Leda’s Voice, Under Sky,
I lie in the wreckage of my longing
which called him down to me.
I remember myself before Zeus settled
over me, in the guise of a swan,
In the ten years since
I left my home in Olney,
Vernor Lake has grown choked
These August afternoons I spend
on the front porch of the lake cottage
with the neighborhood children,
My mother is dissolving like an Alkaseltzer
in the warm waters of this Indian Summer,
the white crown of her head
unraveling hair by hair,
In an old book
of Zen teaching,
I come now across a note, written in my own hand, twenty five years ago.
The lion must slay the dragon. Each scale bears the words,
The wings descend, ripe to root themselves
in the pajamaed child’s shoulders.
She will not sleep tonight
Welcome, Liam Michael Ragain,
little bloodied Silverado thanksgiver.
The cape is rainy and cold,
wind steady out of the northeast.
I was up early, coffee,