Terry Ann Thaxton
Weeds, deer flies, and empty buckshot,
like a constant family, attach themselves to my hands, ears,
eyes, and clothing, while a peewee calls, See-a me?
I wear a hat, and a fawn slips across the trail.
Sheets of wildflowers.
Trees commanded by wind. To be still. To move.
Along the marsh the trail reads my feet
as tall, weighted grass, but I have left my friendís siblings
behind who, unlike my brothers and sister, are drawn toward
one another, toward their motherís house—its
front yard of bird feeders,
lawn chairs, basketball hoop, and tended wildflowers,
its weekly dinners, as if each sibling
were an abandoned cornfield needing seed after years of want.
Pine weighs on my tongue. And mud, like rotted oak and fish.
Still the remote peewee calls as though
he is lonely as an orphan. See-a me? he asks, inviting me to
talk. See-a me? I pull off my hat, raise
my binoculars, and the sky offers its philanthropy
all day. I tell the sky
of my dead parents, my brothers and my sister who live
far away, and the forgotten morning
moves, casting shadow on the cliff I must
walk up to reach the bottom of the trail. One day birds
will call me by name. I will go to them.
For now, I say back to the peewee, I hear you, but can’t
see you. Do you see me? I hold tight to what I haveó
a wild turkey feather and a hollow carapace that once,
to a box turtle, was home.
fiction poetry "fact" photography