Leonore Wilson

Issue #
March 24, 2019

And because they slept in, my friends--

                                         artists, musicians,     old boys
with instruments whittled from boughs

                    gnarled and warped

redwood, boxwood, maple inscribed          they sleep in,

they slumber, they do,
naturally as animals– foxes chipmunks squirrels– burrowing in,

deep down away from their toils

                    under wings of conifers, not far from brooks, little rivulets
womb like they do
hibernate     in this place, home, name it

Paradise   their personal Elysium

                    you see my neighbor says, with that   child-lost look on his face
in the library parking lot,       morning departing

you see, he says, about the fires,
his eyes asquint

they were artists, musicians, retired,
                    like me, and though I’ve moved two hours away…

they were artists, musicians, retired, like me

I tried phoning them, you know
            and the smoke,                 it’s so hard to breathe even here
about two hours   south

and the not

                      the not knowing, and

how the golden-red leaves, swirl, spin, counter-dance
legions of them and the not knowing

how to wrap one’s head around how

do you, how they
                  may not have

gotten out, or maybe tried, hunched over steering

wheels round
the image,   fixed countenance imagine           with or without

wives, animals, instruments, their

        eyes set on the horizon   as if   a miracle
as if a certainly

A certainty, oh imagine them blinded by fire
        the hum of the flames which bee-hives make

carrying their instruments
        shielded there, tucked angel like

              between elbow and   waist,   cradled
fiddle   mandolin      oboe

and just made guitar in its canvas case stretched out across a lap, pieta-like;
                                 oh imagine and driving out, they were   or they are

sacred now, all of them, imagine…..sublime.

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