Friday, August 12, 2011



  Almost before the blood was cold
  they were cutting trees and plowing up the yard.
  One towhee, fleeing, to the other called,
  “It didn’t matter that he tried so hard.”

  The dark angel, bloody-knuckled,
  smirched from wrestling in the dirt,
  growled, “I should have come
  when he was young, and easier to hurt.”

  The evening air lies still, so still.
  The last blond grasses sway and bend.
  May I have a refill?
            May I taste of it again?
  Ripe fruits crash among the trees.
  Thistles dissolve in snowy fluff.
  Once more, please. Please.
  It was not quite enough.
  Took the number. Waited in the line.
  Made my selection, watched them wrap it up.
  Brown paper, crinkly. Paid the bill.
  Walked satisfied into the heedless street.
  Then traffic came. I never ate the meat.
Behind the house, bloodroots, like children holding hands in the wilderness,
I think I would stand over them and watch through the night.
I would turn the slugs aside.
I would see if there is some further gesture in them, some posture the
two ends of the light do not tell of.
Year after year I’ve gone into the forest looking for you,
dear ones, favored ones, above all others, peering in the brown leaves,
pawing through the bones.
This year you come for me.
You set down where you could see me when the thaw came
and all the eyes wordlessly opened.
Me at my back door, fretting, keeping watch. Who knows now for what?

I would plow the world and plant you.
I would take the month off and watch you in your changes,
your purity pumped from the dark pool
over and over, a fountain in the forest made of cool and green,
with root, like all brave things, in fire.
Let’s forget the rigors of botany and declare
you came the long way, seeking,
found me in a moment neither too early nor too late.
we all send forth the parties by which we are, in good time,
found. Praise mine for their silence, for their discretion,
bashful, seen by me only
and known for how far they came, against what opposition,
About David Brendan Hopes:
David Brendan Hopes is professor of literature and language at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, an actor, painter, and widely produced playwright.

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