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Rural Delivery: Calendar of Correlatives

by William F Dougherty

No mail.

Over pines groves, and summer-smug lake
blackberry night unrolls its tarpaulin
trance. Buck-toothed cones, tugged free
by fidgety gusts, tumble down roofs.

No mail. Sears catalogue.

Carpets of crickets chirr robotically.
Light-famished moths pung cabin screens.

Excuse postcard. I meant to put a hum
on things. Mother was fussing at the Copley.
New Hampshire in the Fall, maybe.

Cold sharpens the caws of crows; lichen crusts
stones and shins of trees; the oaks grow gaunt,
sway like a scrawl of barbed Saxon script.

Hectic! We may ski Aspen. I had to flee that
spooky silence of those deep woods. My mind
cringed to fill it. My old jodhpurs still fit!

The lake clicks shuts in mastodon cold;
churlish winds snap for space, whip in
the snow’s comatose suspensions as
difference and distinction disappear.

We’re dune-buggying at Provincetown.
Dad took on young junior partner--
Yale Law Grad, natch. Must cancel visit.

Deer prints by the salt lick fossilize;
Nor’easters mallet ice chisels into granite;
memories thicken into protective clots.

Tom taking Lucinda (and me)
yachting up the Maine Coast.
We’ll be gone at least a month.

The larch sprouts leaves of morningales;
yarrow bobs in a rubbery field, the lake
at morning play squirts up sequined bass.

No forwarding address.
Return to sender.

Gusts at nightfall scowl the lake,
jouncing the pines, loft pale moths
like blinks of paper,
exactly ripped.


Posted on 07/24/2012
Copyright © 2021 William F Dougherty

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Sarah Wolf on 07/24/12 at 08:37 PM

I found this truly original. It's almost like a scrapbook pieced together and organized. I love it.

Posted by Linda Fuller on 07/31/12 at 01:38 AM

marvelous imagery - into favorites.

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