The Jane Moran Prize
All year I collected adorable things.
A dried-out bug that seemed to be
just walking down a twig. The squeak
of a Radio Flyer wagon wheel
that is used for what. And when
winter was over I took off my sleeves
to collect the feeling of air on skin.
The sound of a bird-child, I have
with me. And half a dead egg with
its air sac still in tact.
Already a rain came and knocked off
the living heads of the flowers.
I collected dogwood-blossom stigmata,
a tree that once spoke in words, it spoke in
actual words and so I collected them,
as it demanded consideration from me.
Everything beheaded before Easter—
but that chicken wire cross,
dressed by girls in pastel
dresses, this year bares what?
Ten neon gerber daisies from
the plastic grocery store.
Azalea blooms slicked to their leaves
like a branch of wrinkled blisters
that are drying in the sun.
The congregation makes
its mild procession from their church.
Then they let girls’ sashes wave
along a breeze. They let small children
walk away from their parents
toward a hollow plastic egg
that breaks in half.