Her poppies are dancing in the small wind.
I could see the city from where I work
if God did not live in the great mountains
between. The preacher towers above me,
he could play the game because he was large;
if he were standing closer to the peaks
he might see for himself godless cities
he rails against in public once a week.
The preacher tells the coach how good I am.
What she loves is dancing with her poppies.
Her long brown locks touch her creamy shoulders.
The dark beauty with the mole on her cheek
taught him to love and said he taught her too.
I shovel in sand and unsack cement
in the mixer. Virgil is on the roof
laying bricks for a fireplace far away
from the mountains but closer to the home
of one whose hair swirls around her shoulders
dancing with her poppies in the small wind
that girdles his climb up the long ladder
with hod in a pail that reaches the roof.
The dark beauty went off to live her life
the way she must to find her happiness.
In my elder years I live far away
from her. I long since gave up football,
labor that rung out my bones, left to dry.
Through the window I see my love dancing
with poppies. She swirls as though she held them
and they her, the mountains so far away
no one, not even the preacher, could see
where God lives, or the city where you go
to learn the ways of the world and be wild
after so much, so little given up
to learn to dance with love in the small wind.
(22 August 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander