Toward the end of May, while green is still fresh,
when the honeysuckle and iris are blooming,
before the drought and the great heat,
when you can hear grasshoppers in the day
but not the cicadas at night --

You drive down a hill through a tunnel of trees
and see between shadowed trunks
an infinity of pasture, with somehow beyond it
the maples rising to obscure the river.

And then you know
if someone were to offer you a trade,
to take all your things and in return
you would be that green,
you would take it in a instant.
And then you would swell in a moist bank
under shaded grass, and you would be
golden-tipped maples with a younger sassafras
rising between them, and you would be
golden-scented honeysuckle with bees
buzzing through it.

And there would be no more roads and rivers
disappearing around the bend through atmospheric blue,
since you would already be there, too,
to measure it all and own it all.

And if you wanted to feel the motion towards it,
or if you wanted to see it from an intelligible point of view,
you would need an adjunct, a servant.
Perhaps you would make one, a tall young woman, say,
or a short older man with nothing better to do.
He would feel compelled to tell you about it,
sitting in a dim house at the end of the day,
writing under the pale yellow light to the sound
of the whippoorwills, in the cool spring evening.

May 20, 1988

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