Charles Reznikoff's Back Yard
Tilling Charles Reznikoff’s back yard
brought up a dozen lions and several patches
of wildebeest hearts.
The home itself sat lively in endless shadow,
its picture windows gazing half-wittedly
in five directions.
Inside, a phone sang triumphantly,
the sole technological hormone driving
countless blushing shutters.
But my errand had to do with grass,
so I sat and thought alone in endless shadow,
speaking to myself
On the bed of wild violet that formed a border
between Charles Reznikoff’s back yard
and my own,
Making no sound. Making no sound.
Making no sound. As I stood to look around,
verbs fell everywhere.
His awkward roof repelled them blankly,
staring wakefully over the wild, half-witted yard
that formed its bed.
Downfall morphed into downpour, and of a sudden
cartoon-like animals emerged from thickets,
surrounding that home,
and I must have looked like a startled duck,
trees above my head whipping madly,
a car pulling up.
Such a schedule had been in my mind,
such a tedious map, that I could not even hear
the writer at work.