A DRIVE IN THE COUNTRY
That early, false spring. A crape myrtle
sways in a gentle downpour. The pink camellia
nooked into the yard is blooming. I always see
instead the white camellia of another marriage.
Itís as though Iíve lived two lives simultaneously,
one buried in the past, continuing
in all its drama to be etched onto the present one.
An overpowering odor of violets, escaped
into the lawns. The deep pink of ornamental plums
and Japanese magnolia, opening satin cups
to a cold sun. Who are we, after all,
under our skin?
We receive the gas bill in the mail, a blow
harder than the cold winter.
We worry more about the expense
of love. How it fades,
where it blooms anew. How it sends out tendrils,
crawling, like the violets. He prunes,
killing when necessary, I weed, plucking grasses
from the flower beds. We communicate through roots.
A string of holidays like leftover Christmas lights.
We pass the time with movies,
a drive in the country, and the specter
of love at our throats.
Almond trees just budding.
Against black clouds they seem phosphorescent
like a gas. All along the roadside
so many fat hawks in bare trees.
At home the heavens open. I hear
near thunderclaps, the crash
of hail, ice-clots on the metal awnings.
Jane Blue was born and raised in Berkeley, California. Her poems have been published in many magazines, such as The Innisfree Poetry Journal, Avatar Review, Convergence, The Chattahoochee Review, The Louisville Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. Her most recent books are Turf Daisies and Dandelions, Rattlesnake Press, Sacramento, and The Persistence of Vision, Poetís Corner Press, Stockton. She lives near the Sacramento River in Sacramento, California.