(Started by Michael Caden O’Hara Levin, age three)
Let’s hold hands for grace, he chirps,
let’s hold hands for joy.
Our touch of flesh flicks
round the room, then upward through
ancestral trees. High-booted
Carolina planters stare. Post-
Revolution veterans clearing
Ozark hills lean on their saws.
An antique motorcade
burps by, while squat Volhynian
exiles trudge through hedgerows to a
reedy Bessarabian bassoon.
Worlds shuffle off
and nothing now remains
of shaggy venturers -- their chattel fields,
rank brew-vats, shrieking textile mills --
or Philadelphia factories
wrung from Tsarist soil
yet still they congregate,
reclaimed one instant in a
small boy’s shining face.
Outside, deer nuzzle
young azalea blooms.
Our local red fox on its haunches,
lit by streetlight, grooms a paw.
we’re grasping for
riding these hands
this quarter moon
a quiet sapphire sky.
2018 Mizmor ("Melody") Anthology, Poetica