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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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The Eve of the Wedding


 

I go into the flower garden barefoot

trowel in hand

because I never rebutted tradition.

 

The rain clouds roll in on horizontal rails:

a breath upon a window pane,

a pale star, headlights through the fog.

 

In the house, the carnations soften

each time the screen door opens.

Like them, I also anticipate

the morning.

 

June

takes responsibility

for the upturned wheelbarrow

its rusting underside

and the one wheel design.

 

I have a new dress.

I have new shoes.

We'll move into a house by the river.

It can be any color you like.

 

 To say it once--

it is your name.

It is a song my mother sings.


                    -Thompson Boling

 

 


 

Beautiful Things




 

It has been so bright that even the tops of the sweet buckeyes glisten.

Breaths turn heavy. The grass browns with desire.

 

The wind does not stir. Sheets do not stay on the bed.

The dog and I count shadows on the wall. Some are shaped like cockscombs.

 

The screen door needs fixing. A reminder to expect you late

next month.

I stand in the driveway pulling petals as though tearing pages from a journal.

 

Each thin plate no longer united at the base, but

resting

on my bare feet like a short horned grasshopper on a stalk of wheat.

 

I whisper your name as I dismember the scarlet corolla.

I imagine your hands on the stem.


                                                   -Thompson Boling

 

  

 

The Parting Gift



 

On the last night I left you

a Globe artichoke.

 

The deep lobes, the triangular scales, fleshy lower portions,

 

the heart—

 

all resting on your bedside table like a tether on a small bale of hay.

 

 It was an old love

 

that began in the shadows of the Dogwood trees.

We spent the week combing through the paper leaves

 

that fell from the pergola.

Leaves curled by the heat, as if they knew all the ghosts that haunted us. 

 

Dear One, you said,

the curve of the Earth needs to be straightened.

 

So I took my ladder and my hoe and walked North.

 

One

             by one

 

by

          one

 

the horizon began to mold to my touch.

 

Afterwards, I went to the garden

and relocated the artichoke to your bed stand. 

                                                     
        -Thompson Boling