A Missouri Boy’s Summer Day

Second day out of school

a squirrel monk

waddles on a telephone line

screeching matins

 

The plaster doll’s head,

an oracle, tells me,

“Beware the crazy lady,”

third house from the corner

 

Dandelion Huns

beg not to be slaughtered

but fall underneath

my imperial stick sword

 

Laying in the grass,

sunshine warming my face,

I watch parading ants

carry war dead

 

Angel fish choreographed

through a burst of dried fly

in the bubbling tank

leap to the light

 

General Low Growl,

one eye half shut,

broken lip sagging,

guards 47th & Mercier

 

A tree frog on assignment

questions a grasshopper

at the rusted entrance

of a drain pipe

 

I build a cemetery with

navy bean headstones

for rolly-pollies: next June,

a garden there

 

The throne at the peak

of the box elder tree

swirls and sways me

and bows to the grass

 

Elm trees form leafy tunnels

on Terrace Street through which

I pedal and pedal

until the wheels break free,

 

And let go and fly

free of my body

up to the constellations

for a crossing in Taurus

 

From the front porch I can see

the whole world,

its oceans, palms tree groves,

the streetlight moon

 

I hear surf against curbstones,

drums, a distant macaw,

strum flamenco on a shoebox,

my rubber band guitar

 

Then I weigh anchor, catch

the wind from dry leaves,

my arms for sails, and tack into

cooler waters towards Tahiti