Table of Contents - Vol. VIII, No. 2
Her hands shelled peas, her working knuckles,
Her rounded fingers, nails filed to a point;
They kneaded pies, held babies, picked periwinkles
And knit an afghan after her eyesight
Had failed her because she couldn’t tell apart
The white and cream shades of her knitting yarn.
Years later, I find it in mother’s hall closet
And claim it for my own, her great-grandson
Who sprawls on and off the couch, large hands,
My face, but on his chin, a stubbled wheatfield
That transforms him, an enchanted swan
Who outgrows buttons, feathers, shirts, and beard.
I cover him up, as far as it goes, the span
Of us, with the work of my grandmother’s hand.
Due to the permanent marring of her tomorrows,
a Russian astrologer is suing the United States
for three hundred million dollars
for “ruining the natural order of things”
by NASA’s firing a probe named
Deep Impact into Comet Tempel-One
to see what kind of stuff its ice and dust
might be, altering its course, thus
sending this woman’s horoscope
wheeling out of whack and she demands
it back, her Ptolemaic universe en toto
and bucks to ease the agony of its loss.
This umbrella of gravity can fold around her ears
for all she cares so long as no stray rocks slice through
her chart which once upon a time was set in stone.
In her land of snow, a comet did blast a forest
and lay its sperm in a seam of fire and ice.
It didn’t trouble the heavens then. Now
the moon just barely holds the waters back.
© Robin Scofield