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MUSED Literary Magazine.

A Morning Prayer after Machado

Beth Spencer

The soft applause of popple
celebrates the sunís return after
too many days of rain.
From my high porch, this quiet day, I see
a broken birch forking into sky, the wait
of birdfeeder, and an empty path below.
Bass leaves shimmy and voices of the squirrels shake
their castanets above me along the highways of the trees.
Hickory nuts in bright green jackets fall near Purgatory Creek
which twists from here through lakes and streams
to Minneapolis who points her fingers skyward.
There the Mississippi, sluggish, moves down south
to spread her dirty toes into the delta, carrying
our farmland to the sea. I hear one crow calling,
insistent, beckoning a murder.
Across the sea is Puerto Rico, stepchild of America.
What contusion of the hour? What more news to break
her battered bones? Again. Three hurricanes.
Is the reina mora singing still
from those tattered trees? Do the fronds of palms still flutter
in this more tempered wind? Dear God,
I donít believe in you, but can you listen
to the some who do?