My pencil leaves only caterpillar scat on this lined page. Clouds have tied
the sun to the bed frame of the sky. The marsh has withdrawn. No wind,
no wading birds, the current deeply asleep in some naiad’s tangled dream
my imagination, gasping, drowns in. Fat as a Buddha, I sit and wait. Can I learn
patience from salt moss? Acceptance from the bowed phragmites? Diffidence
from Black-Eyed Susans whose young faces still look earnestly heavenward?
This is all there is. All there ever is. Me, trying to decline the world’s language
onto canvas blank as tidal flats, my mouth, open in surprise and full of ash.