The Dubose and Dorothy Heyward Society Prize
Unsmashing the Goblet
It is a neglected garden in mountain woods.
Once, the clearing opened enough sunlight
for delphinium and iris, but the trees
have stretched tall, and now
only shade blossoms are making it:
foxglove, periwinkle, wild geranium. I dig
through years of sodden oak leaves,
yank out blackberry bramble,
wake up moss coated rocks. By midday
I reach the cookie tin. Time has eaten into
the red and green plaid promise of shortbread.
My fingernails snag into the rust weld of the lid.
Here is the bundle of brittle shards, wrapped
in faded red cotton torn from that dress
(Washington Square—those early New York days).
This wrapped in a scrap of tapestry,
silver branches woven into mossy greens.
So what to use for glue?
They say white hot rage fuses best,
but these woods are too peaceful for that.
I think of spiders, and their sticky extrusions.
I think of how I once saw a spider turn a fly’s
frantic buzz into a perfect oval of spun silence.