it is time to begin sowing -- Maggie Frozena

over shoulders the yoke falls and beneath the tumble you
can hear the geese some one is asking for water

the gesture -forehead, lips, heart,
the arm extends, the line of thumb and hand
not stone but warm

you think I'm sleeping
but the air makes the hairs on my arm stand upright
and reach and waver for blankets

here is the twine for making stakes
here is the oil for your hands
aging before their time and I know you are crying
with shoulders square and red fabric for the forty days after
you are weeping

your mother used to take your temperature by kissing your forehead
your skin there hardens

you have stood too long
tree roots have sprung into the bottom of your foot
bending around the small bones of your ankle
braiding tibia and fibula together

maybe in spring there will be flowers instead of fingernails
or olives will spring from the palm of your hand

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