Kelley White

Here the message carved on the skin
of a sapling, here the secret stitched
on the back of a stone, here the whisper
woven into the river, the silence wrapped
in the white of a bone. Yesterday’s twilight
sang to the birds of the highway, gentled
evening into the dark of the hill, quieted
dawn through the pinhole of Saturn,
weeping; pitied the housewife sweeping
without a broom. Read the conclusion
torn from the back of a sparrow, sing
the inscription bleeding down yesterday’s
face; carry moonlight home to the doves
of the evening, wrap them with ribbons
rent from the bricks of disgrace. Root
them in sand with the skull of an osprey,
scrape it and grind with the claw
of a crone, bury it wrapped in the husk
of a deerchild, make the sign of the
hawk, mark the sign of the glove.

Watch for the heat that rises
before you see fire, summon the shout
that defines the morning with grief. 
Dive for the merchants who cry out
for pearls and for amber. Beg for
the moment when cattle and  ducklings
release.  Uncover the seam that
was whittled from childhood. Speak
to the angel who brazens the sword
of the priest.  Sustain the dance the silent
one has forgotten. Answer the hermit
who quickens the water and reeds.
Gather the remnant of crystal and vagabond
children.  Teach them the lessons the
swallows engraved on a leaf. Unbind
your hair and caress the walls of the
fortress.  Slip off the veils of your father’s