One hand follows the other
to this place where bears scuffle
over huckleberries, deer flies
rule. Well dry, climbing roses
rest, wait out freak heat.
Gardens are to woodlands
what drag queens are to women.
I tend seedlings, bulbs, plots,
fume as my terrier, soft woofer, degenerates
into a baying Cerberus. I am expecting
no one. Then I hear gears,
wheels pulverizing the rutted gravel road.
I am expecting nothing. Nothing
is what I receive until your teeny foot
in my door, your arrival triangulating two
parties. Spoony offshoot, the final score
of recreational sex into overtime. A boy. To bore
into my nape and puke and suck hard.
I must have been a girl before. I forget history.
How many years we angled in the Tetons.
Buff. Randy. Flush. How many sappy
songs he scritched onto tree bark.
Our nativity, out here, on a bed of curling,
luminous white fungi. Or while I bob
in the pond, dozing between koi. Pains.
Suspended yellow hands will wave, cheer;
maple leaves ensnared in a web of bare boughs.
Alder trunks will lean over us,
black pencils graying, mottled, like soldiers
erasing interlopers, blending in to make peace.
The vegetable patch, with stalks of pink
rhubarb will fuel our labour. I hope it’s on a night
the mountain lion sleeps. You are born
in October. Know what you want. Know
that I have it. Zero in on immunoglobulins. Fat.
Sugar. I smell like you. The flow may slow
though we nurse until you are two, my nipples
tall, sturdy. Prissy finger wags. Hissy grandma tongue
gags. Perverts. Just don’t call me late for supper.
Junior’s favourite corny joke. Before I forget,
she was stacked, dreaded parent-teacher nights
and ran our household like an ant farm.
Not willing to wait, you nearly die from myth.
A believer. In Santa. Age eight. Lodged
in the chimney. Woody, sweet as a cinnamon stick
tender volunteer fireman work hours to heave-ho,
hand over. A smudge. Intrepid soot cub,
legs strapping my waist. Frightened, at last.