The Poetry of Mary K O'Melveny



We watch the light shift.

The sky turns mauve

with hints of pinks, Orangina.

Slender, electric

ribbons of blue

ignite cloudy wisps.

Tall grasses flutter.

Dusk dims down.


Tiny canals bright

with waterbirds twist through

roots and membranes

of reddened marshes.

Stalks and showy seedheads

drift lazily about

like willowy dancers

at rehearsal’s ending.


Undulate vistas lie

open before us.  We

want to reach out, sweep

our arms out so downy

fuzz will ripple against skin.

The pasturage and turf

of the Great Plains rests

in these glades and wetlands.


It is easy to imagine us

gathering up seedlings

to weave into baskets.

Or folding our checkered

picnic cloths for the diurnal,

passage home, grasslands

fading softly into the last bits

of smoldering light.


This unlikely wildness

lies just outside our dingy

train window as we speed

past New Jersey’s landfills

to Port Authority tunnels.

Our magical escape stays briefly.

Then its siren call is lost

as we drift away into darkness. 


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