Register Tuesday | June 25 | 2019

Buying the Farm

A poem

Crossing over-

Will we be standing at a dory's prow,
clouds cooperating grandly in the background,
profiles like captains charting the Passage,
new moon, ice floes, capes?

Or pass away
like an unlucky dynasty
or a craze for snuff bottles,
our lives no thicker than a snowflake?

A little folding of the hands to sleep-
I'm in the backyard chaise,
straw hat tipped over my nose,
dozing to the lilac's inquisitive wrens-
you, your spade still beside you,
sprawl, just starting to snore.

It's curtains for us,
clasping hands behind the dusty, still-swaying swag-
at last these doublets can come off,
the swipes of rouge and sideburns, then we'll stroll
to greet the flashing city with our true faces.

Let's sleep with the fish,
the yellow tangs like a flock of suns,
eels with Sid Caesar eyes
easing into a Romanesque coral-arch.

It's the end of the line,
the train nudges its way to the platform's edge,
we're the only two in the graffiti-swirled car
softshoeing down the gum-gobbed aisle.

And yes, let's buy the farm-
the loft's tucked full of hay,
the combines are waiting,
here is your morning basket of fresh eggs.