We wore our hair
cut straight across below the earlobe,
straight across above the eyebrow.
All wore dresses straight as paper dolls'
cut without pattern, front to back,
printed with flowers that laundered out
like snowflakes in April.
We carried lunch in the Freiheit
Pa read the night before
leaning on the porcelain kitchen table.
Our spectacles were tiny portholes
framed in steel, from the Department
Of Relief. "Not prume, prune,"
said Mrs. Greg, the English teacher,
"not gimp, limp." She flowed
in beige silk from desk to blackboard;
she stood before us in silk stockings.
Her lorgnette hung from a golden chain
to just the place the hand goes
when pledging allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America.


(March 22)

Last year this date it snowed,
Wind blew the cold to zero.
Not a bud unbuttoned, ground muffled,
Securing what was bound
For May's marshalling.

Today might lure the summer birds home.
Forsythia, crocus, jonquil
Push past the strictures of their history.
The sun is sirening. The cherry blossom
Has gone out on a limb.

Back-cover page and where to buy: IN ENORMOUS WATER