Poetry

By Mary L. Bradford


My Childhood Calls Me

Morning glories thread
Across a weed-baked field
Swords of june grass
Guard alfalfa barricades
String bean summers
tart with green plums
lemony apricots. …
I float handmade ships
of fragile berry boxes
Collect glossy heroines
In stacks of paper dreams
Set up baseball diamonds
marked by rotten apples
slippery, pungent. …
Walking home from school
Abreast with laughing cousins
Refusing, always refusing
Rides with strangers
I chin a haunted bar until
a twanging harpie
chases me away. …
Holding to my heart
Deep library treasures
I sit at cottonwood time
Smelling leathery pages
I can smell them now
O girl of the limberlost
and lonesome pine. …
My cherry-tree world
Cradled me, I
Tarzana of the Apes,
I, overseer of vacant lots,
sidewalk sprees,
dusty roads,
and RunSheepyRun.

Waiting

From the world you came
And offered me your hand.
With the knowledge that I then possessed
I laughingly and lovingly and joyfully
Said yes.
But now my knowledge has increased.
I see beyond the edges of mortality
Beyond the here and now,
The “this” and “we.”
to Waiting, I stand
Offering you my hand
Hoping you will come to know,
Take my hand, and go
Leading me
Back into eternity.