By N. S. Racheotes
She bows nearly to the ground before the rock garden,
As hymns and folk songs from the old country
Run in an endless loop through her memory.
A mockingbird is perched next door
On an obsolete television aerial;
His beak punctures a hole through the summer morning sky;
He fills it with songs,
Borrowed from other birds.
She is wearing that straw hat and those scarred gloves
That will the flowers into fragrant bloom.
She names them like her children:
Carnations smelling of the clove she knew on that Aegean island.
Roses, mums, and peonies with such full faces,
The passersby can envy.
She calls the mockingbird Figaro because that’s what he sounds like to her.
He doesn’t know what to call her because mockingbirds are sweetly unoriginal.
The woman and the bird have paused to feed on July,
To commingle their summer,
To exchange melodies,
And I know that all too soon,
Both voices will be still.
— V —