There is only the moment and then
on a slope of yellowed grass
the bearded elders sit on blankets
offering nuts and apples.
One places a special peach,
carefully, into your open hand.
Happenings fall lopsided into day or night.
when you trip over light
and the wind pulls you
through into the flower, its
shining nectar and seed
is prismatic, and sky suddenly bends.
A moment when you find yourself
the smell of milk, apples,
an old horse standing patient,
your white dress
filmy in sun-slant.
Waking to blinds, pale edged,
we cannot tell day from night.
Waking from a dream of apples
and the snapshot of a child, filmy in white,
we cannot tell the truth of it.
The painting of the girls with
red lips and Chinese lanterns,
light pouring through lilies, white dresses,
remembered as how we stood in an orchard
in that early light.
This morning the orchard stoops under mist.
What rustles amongst the fallen leaves
is a multitude of wasp and ant. Transparent
fruits lie, hollowed out, only wan shapes,
of yesterday’s apples and pears.
Listening to the stories that we tell ourselves,
the stopping places on the way to here,
we cannot figure, quite, the truth of it,
the border leaking between day and night.
Who took the snapshot of the child in white?
Brigid Smith: October 2011