Poem of the Week: Knotweed


by Cindy Hunter Morgan

This morning the horses were cross
when I showed up to feed them.
They blocked the ladder to the hay mow,
would not meet my gaze.
You old stick in the mud, I said,
just like my grandfather, but they did not budge.
Still, I got their hay and fluffed the flakes
like Easter basket grass.
The horses bowed their heads, licking
their grain bins and flicking their tails.
I patted their rumps and left.

In the hospital, I saw my grandfather’s legs
for the first time: purple veins hardened
like the stems of Japanese knotweed, knees
swollen like nodes on the stem.
He told me of hallucinations, how
in the fog of delirium the geometry
of this world kept bleeding angles
when he tried to define the slope of the barn.
He asked about the horses, but only said
the names of the dead ones.

Now in the amber afternoon,
they stretch their heads over the rail
and nicker. I slip under the fence
beside their skinny legs, ropy
as blue beech. I could be among trees.
How mutable, the stuff of this world.
I feed them apples, one each,
and brush them until they shine,
their lost hair blowing away,
then settling like tufts of wintered grass.

via http://www.theharlequin.org

Copyright 2014 The Harlequin

Published by cpoetrymsu

The Center for Poetry opened in the fall of 2007 to encourage the reading, writing, and discussion of poetry and to create an awareness of the place and power of poetry in our everyday lives. We think about this in a number of ways, including through readings, shows, community outreach, and workshops. We are at work building a poetry community at MSU and in the greater Lansing area. Contact: cpoetry@msu.edu (517) 884-1932 http://www.poetry.rcah.msu.edu

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