Once it is done, the women live in the surges,
the dark that changes like a tide
as if refusing to demolish or decide.
They know the fall is a pact with the shore.
The colors here are crossed and banging,
old carpets hung among their dusts.
The air and loss around them visible as flour,
swatted by those whose time and thought don’t matter.
Each bolt of cloth is retroactive, angry.
It falls downward, opens crookedly
the repeating blue-white lightning
and the thought of the shore.
They who are angry grow clumsy,
large, black, raucous birds
who rock on bent legs
in the brown stubble.
They call and sing to the lost way,
the wind to carry us all intact.
They remember the shore,
the shore revised with knowledge.
Patricia Nelson is a retired attorney who has worked with the Activist group of poets in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her most recent book is Spokes of Dream or Bird, Poetic Matrix Press.
Painting by Samuel Walters.