One Summer You Suppose

Poem By Michael C. Peterson

One summer you suppose another summer
will be ransomed—at last—
the stark-rocking maple now willfully green,
the house like a boat like a house,
its old anthem stolen back from obliteration,
incredibly redeemed by a throat—
an ocean instead of ash, or liquor in the
throat that's singing nameless,
unremembered acts—but this too—misleading.
Tree sway.
The orchard's aqueduct and memory and a
familiar fray of nettle or
the memory of nettle we had seen elsewhere
closer to the coast when we had
been there, had been asleep, a whole day
close-to-valor—but
valor implies the war you also wage it for
doesn't it, shouldn't it—
summer, yarrow in your pocket and then,
suddenly, more yarrow:
rescue the color of turmeric under the nails
of Achilles, remember, who to
spite rage, its worked copper, crushed some
flowers in the one soft place left
of his palm—where now no javelin, no reins—
more like a girl's cheek,
brushing against the shoulders of his men.

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