(for Alice Truax)
Three pairs of binoculars but which one works—
why do we say “pair” when we mean one?
What we see is what we are—the swimming
pool’s black shadow eye-mote, a mole, drowned,
its stiff bird feet a blurred ideogram.
Fetch the net. The day’s stuck fast. Feverish
July, lilies mark the lawn, crimson,
yellow, tangerine, a Palio, each bloom
a pony with its tongue mete out. Beyond
the big white tent, a giant’s handkerchief,
the red-hot smokehouse writes its blue cursive.
When I was a girl, I made friends with a willow
and gave it the gift of my loneliness—
How near is near? How far is far?