In Which the Magpie Resurrects the Voice of Henry David Thoreau
I am the magpie, sitting atop the wattle fence.
I embody the snow that fell overnight
& the blue shadows cast by the morning sun--
the fence’s & the great trees’ & yes, mine
all resting there on Normandy’s ground.
I know the woman you can’t see in the butter-coloured house
who boils carrots & parsnips over the fire
& the invisible man who plows the field beyond me
in the spring. I stretch forth my black breast,
impressed that I can perch here,
or fly, depending on my need.
Once, a long time ago, I sailed through
a rainbow, & its light tinged my wings green,
so all summer long, I sang of solitude.
Still, loss sometimes weighs upon my shoulders
(though I have no quarrel with God),
as when a brother dies & I gather with others
to walk around the body & wail.
Those essentials I encounter often,
like now, for instance, as the violet mist
dissipates, I spy another man close by,
the one with a brush in his hand.
I imagine he will practice on his pale canvas
anything but resignation.
Julie L. Moore
Julie L. Moore is the author of three books of poetry: Particular Scandals, Slipping Out of Bloom, and Election Day. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Image, New Ohio Review, Nimrod, Poetry Daily, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, and Verse Daily. You can learn more about her work at julielmoore.com.
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