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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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Policies

The High Whine of Cicada

 


Grand pianos trudge through hosta

on their delicate brass-tipped legs.   

Seated beside the bench a panel of spiders

 

cross their ankles and a spelling bee

begins.   They lob words like languid

and bouquet over their shoulders

 

at a flat-faced shovel.   The chisel smirks.   

The air smells the way the moon smells,

like a strip of caps hammered on cement.   

 

A piano yawns.   The trees tree, the clouds

cloud, and the spelling bee hems up

afternoon, shortens whatever's been lost

 

—Marion Boyer

 

Blackberry Winter

 

 

Bulbs split, piccolo the garden,

finger the wind. Sodden grass,

rags of trashy snow. A rake

 

and trowel play tag with the tuba

who is "it" again, his one huge eye

a periscope turning too late.

 

The viola rubs his belly, lies

looking up and far.  He tells a jay

he loves the word Manitoba

 

the way it isn't turnpike or caulk;

how it must taste like ginger tea

steeped when the sky is stone.

 

It's a translation for circle, he thinks,

for something large and emerging.

The jay cocks his head. Manitoba. 

 

                                   —Marion Boyer