SAYING GRACE


(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.

 

It’s buoyancy

we’re grasping for

riding these hands

this quarter moon

a quiet sapphire sky.


2018 Mizmor ("Melody") Anthology, Poetica