E n i d   D a m e


Nature, you've got the right idea
installing those weeds in this yard
tighter than chain-linkfences,
stronger than muscled arms
When I hack them back
(leaving my careful traps
to discourage visitors),
you move in behind like the ocean
reinstating its claim on the land,
refilling my clearings
with tough growth.

Those insects are a great concept,
a fine security system:
the scratchers and stingers,
the buzzers who menace flowers,
the spinners of sticky lace.
Only the bravest neighbor
would dare to unlock this maze.

Earth, you keep our secrets
and all the others'.
Your lush tabernacles cover
the discarded objects
we can't part with:
the rusty bicycles    Flexible Flyers     one-stringed guitars
milky-eyed marbles     toothless saws
broken knife-blades     astrology charts
the sand-crammed perfume bottle
the generations of nails.

And even further the bones
of dead animals    unlucky birds
wild boys' chipped teeth
stillborn ancestors    crimes
reconfigured as dreams.

When we lived inside the house
(too full now to hold us,
crammed with the detritus
of our emptying lives)
we were the anarchists     desperadoes    deconstructionists
flouters of boundaries,
the concepts of room    wall    home.

Here, we live within nature,
corresponding to her rhythms,
her need to expand to accumulate to conceal.
Our neighbors are the eccentrics,
inflicting unnatural order--
with edgers and trimmers
and gassy weed-whackers--
on unruly life.

So when we finally die--
from lack of food in a mean year
or caught in our own traps--
there will be no public outcry,
No one will be shocked   or delighted.
We'll be one more secret
the earth knows how to swallow,
the weeds know how to bury.
We won't have far to go.
We're already there.



N E W A R K   R E V I E W

Vol. 2, set 5