Robert Ronnow
                                                              Brother Death
                                                    
Ronnow   Reading



                        Pokeweed Waits


Pokeweed waits
underground, snow crusts
small greenish white flowers, leaves entire
and alternate, black berries
poisonous, ripe late.

Waits patiently past February
when the sun stays up in the sky more than January
and six more months after that
past the peepers keeping watch
for every passing dog or truck.

We await our time
or have had it, or are having it.
Body in slow, not precipitous, decline.
Expend ourselves on work and wine.
Percent of budget expended, year to date.

I heard a redwing this morning
who might have been choosing a nest site
holding the spot against chevrons from the south.
Choosing the best site, away from predators, near water,
in sight of seed and buds.

It happens that when the pokeweed fruit pokes out
the chicks were born, the fledglings flown
leaves already leathery
and the weather has the faintest
hint of January's cold snow hold.


Copyright 2001 & 2007 by Robert Ronnow.