Postcard from the Tygart
The Tygart’s cold. Smallmouth
sit, not ready to be nesting.
But soon I’ll see the big males spin
craters near the bank. They’ll
turn and twirl their tiger stripes,
nose cobble for a perimeter—
quail egg size or even bigger—
spit pea gravel in the middle.
I don’t know what’s finer
than pre-fishing for some flowers—
trout lilies spring from flood-wet
sand. They burst their yellow stars.
Turn. You’ve flushed a goose’s nest.
Wing-bats echo in the holler.
Postcard to My Boy at Sweet Sixteen
My body is a cenotaph
rooted to the floor, sensate,
burning, not routing cancer—
raging through each door.
I cannot process fast enough,
while trying to slow down—
each word you fashion. You’re
so much faster than before.
I try to hold you with my eyes—
the angles of your face.
There’s no way to tell you
everything—so let’s fall
into this hug. Which cannot stand,
I know, but does just what it should.
Postcard Sabbath Song
Starlings sing a song
of crosses—skim low
across a sea. A sea of
pavement I cross unsocked—
their sweet whistle beguiling
me. They land. I follow.
I close the gap—but up
they flock again. Then stop,
talk shop—of what? Who knows?
They’re at the end of the block
pecking in cracks for something
I can not see. Then they rise,
top trees, and sing again—
of what might come, or be.
Postcard on Time
I’ll move along, quickly now—
time’s a fickle date. This last’s
on all that stands with me
in the middle of this yard.
Maple’s got a crown of blooms
with bees that buzz inside. Green-
gold’s above, purple below—violets,
columbine. Toad trills in his mirror.
Sparrows share a home-made box.
Chatter, “Hey man, aren’t you done?”
while nesting on old bones. “Not quite,”
I say, though I’ve circumscribed
the corners of this space. It’s small,
I know, but much more than I can say.
Bill King is a 1990 graduate of the MA program in creative writing at the University of Georgia and teaches creative writing and literature at Davis & Elkins College, in Elkins, West Virginia. His recent work appears in Kestrel, Appalachian Heritage, A Narrow Fellow Journal of Poetry, Poecology, as well as other journals and anthologies.