GF Boyer is a freelance editor, creative writing instructor, and the editor of Clementine Poetry Journal https://clementinepoetry.
wordpress.com/ and Clementine (Unbound) (https://clementineunbound. wordpress.com/). Her poems have appeared in a number of publications, including The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, RHINO, and Heron Tree.
Springtime. You came home late again.
A cheddar moon on the point of a pine.
Frogs cranked out their vocables,
an undertone of crickets in looming forest.
Dogwood blossoms on open palms.
Your mother, acting calm, asked
some questions, who knows what.
You couldn’t answer.
Your father quiet as usual,
sad. You with your itch to be gone.
In the morning, hummingbirds
from a plastic Shasta bottle.
You slammed the porch door on your way out,
your head instantly haloed by gnats.
The deaf hunting dog still asleep on the mat.
There would have been snow
on the pigpen roof, the barn,
the road’s frozen ruts,
the collapsing hay wagon.
Dad would’ve shouldered his
thirty-ought-six, headed out
toward the sound of a stray
with a trap-mangled paw
sure to be chewed to a stump.
Snow would’ve covered
the junked car’s rotting upholstery:
an offering, a kind of altar.
I used to swear I’d never dodder,
twine myself to any nearby plant.
I’d not submit to be fed pudding,
be bathed, be taken to the pot.
I used to say I’d make my exit
well before. How could I have known?
Now I dream, like Jacob, of ladders
into heaven, washed in milk and tears.
In baskets woven of choking vines:
unending fruit and flowers.