Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2022  Vol. 21  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
 print preview


The rain is falling in veils today,
humbling the trees whose faces
it hides, ghost-whispering its intentions,
making sanctuaries of places

which before the rain had had no walls
to write on. The new yellow dog
and I took a walk when it let up
a bit and we were a cog

in the day’s great gears: big rain, big wind,
white noise of wet leaves,
far cars, the patient ease and shuffle
of gravel as it received

our weight. Wildflowers are really
just starting to show their color
now and the driveway is lined with whites
and yellows, pale pink of the taller

clover, the tiny blues of that violety
thing I know is not
a violet; even the plantain with
its nothing-blossom is caught

up in the mood, hurling love
at the bees. But I like most
the wild dianthus I’ve always called
a pin-flower (because as host,

I feel like I’m allowed to make up
names), its single prick
of pink like beautiful blood in the grass.
Tough stems make them hard to pick

so I usually leave them there, but I brought
one in for you as I write.
It’s in a little glass on the table,
petals offering light,

extra light, to the room around me.
It is an immigrant
but grows well in the shade here, patient,
starry blossoms spent

one pink star at a time. Up close,
each of the five petals
has small spots like freckles on a face
that knows it is beautiful,

meaning it has filled itself with beauty.
Is it for me? I’m not sure.
I’m not sure beauty needs the beholder,
I’m not sure it needs to be pure,

or deemed pure, that is, so I won’t call it
that. I’ll say instead
it’s some kind of message, light transformed
into something somebody said.  

return to top