Found — The sycamore shadow rocks and falls
by Afric McGlinchey
backward, to the shock of plant and animal, child.
Read it in the child’s face.
We used to make this garden our own:
that bit of green ground on the hummock.
You’d be quite loaded with hawthorn,
sacred as a white goddess,
three sorts of skink on various rocks
and in the pond, two minnow,
flakes in the air floating a look.
We’d fall asleep in a feeling element,
full of sweet noises
from the barn–bouncers, lifting
live larvae and crickets and grain,
fallen pearls on the fringe of a coat
jabbed shut like a clam.
Less than three feet across, by a hood of rocks,
gathers leaflike lichen.
They, whom the birds despise, start to cut —
not mud gelded by paraquat,
not bare paddocks bordered by a creek
— but trees, chiefly.
Where the woodmen lops, I see a demon
trampling down the near–naked earth
to the minimum,
leaving only white–shaken flowers
to swarm over dirty buses with coughing exhaust.
The night insects — locusts, cicadas — scream
at tree after tree fall, moist root upturned.
Snatched out of a dream, rain blurts,
in the end, from the urn that holds all its grief.