Friday, August 10, 2007

Two Poems: Barbara L. Thomas

Sugared Umber in Winter

Bathed in morning sunshine
(a heartbeat away
from my breakfast toast
and preserves) a doe
licks her fawn. I watch
her sip a snowy liqueur
from my birdbath
and browse among
the foliages of thyme
and the wild strawberry.
When she drops beside her fawn
only the twitching of an ear
reveals their bedding
among fescues
and scrawny lupines
sugared umber.

Warmed by my tea’s
steaming fragrance,
I watch the red-headed
flicker thump one
Ponderosa after another,
her collect, the remains
of viburnum fruit.
The great-horned owl
leaps from her perch
as if pursued. Doe
and fawn, in carousel,
stream from the preserve.
Doves flutter, the raven,
wings outstretched,
soars overhead.

* * * * *

Infants Abroad

Long ago, before children’s car seats,
One of our four disappeared into a tangle
Of huckleberry almost before her father
Had braked the car. Laura the one
Who at six would write in her journal
Of seeing a bear, Big as Daddy, while
We traipsed over Idaho, British Columbia.

Boxes packed for picnicking at Tally Lake,
Laura eases over corrugated roadway,
The ten-mile route shrouded by firs
And the dust of approaching vehicles,
Her mother and children belted against surprise—
A moose calf moseying the roadway,
Another intrepid child, seemingly untended.

Laura’s father was Tommy to his sister.
A child of huckleberry tangle, he, the one
Who backed our station wagon up to the tent,
Gathered in the children and drove ten miles
To a service station bathroom to avoid thunder,
Lightning strikes, rain-sloshed pajamas—
His signature, a hike along the shoreline’s indigenous path,

Still trod as it had been for eons.

~ Barbara L. Thomas lives in Montana. This is her first appearance in Elegant Thorn Review.

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