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A Silent Poem


A Silent Sonnet
by Janet Buck

Strange. It was.
Summer’s beriberi draught
with grape vines fried
in skillets of an August day.
Thorns were baby alligator teeth,
chomping straw of might have been.
Dirt stayed creases in a skirt.
Branches were a sewing kit;
we were groups of humble Adam’s
stitching nervous clothes to wear.
The lot next door--a homestead
for these early dreams.
The big tree lounging on its side:
pirate pilots at its helm.

Green Peace wasn’t politics,
but escalators to the clouds
and grass untouched by human plows.
The earth turned toast and all at once
the intangible maze of winter struck.
Brown went white. Hot suns withdrew.
We grew up faster than we planned.
The tree house leaves were
curtains frozen to the wood.
Trapdoors shut to fairy nowhere:
school pinched a nerve again.
Snowfall was a silent sonnet
sweeping attics with its hand.

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