The air is filled with cottonwood
seed. The black locust blooms white.
It casts its sweet orchid scent
across my face.
While women wait, they make
up their beds in flannel and lace,
count the moon, tend their gardens.
They put roses in glass bowls.
Yesterday, a loud storm, trees
talking together in the wind.
The river is high this year.
I sleep between cool sheets.
Women wait for men, for children,
for dough to rise, for rain.
They measure the corn against
their patient legs.
Finches and grosbeaks quarrel
at the feeder. Three fat squirrels
perch on the fence, eating corn
from their tiny hands.
Women wait together. They sit
on wooden chairs, shelling peas
without counting. Their soft words
fall into mixing bowls.
I've rearranged the furniture.
I am dreaming again of glaciers,
bears, and old lovers. We meet
skin to skin.
Women write in their diaries
of common things, the lightness
of snow, the height of the corn,
a streak of green at sunset.
This morning I walked across the stone
bridge, thinking about surrender, grace,
redemption. Swallows chased insects
in the sky above me.
Women wait in their beds, in their
gardens, beneath a sliver of moon.
Women watch each day fall
from the shell into the bowl.
One swept past me, ruffling my hair.