If you want to sing, yield to the music.
I was quiet for a long time. Now the knuckles
have brushed my side, and I’ve seen the dirt
under the nails of the singer. If I had to pick,
I don’t know how I’d choose the song. I am
the soundboard. I amplify. I draw out
the melody that escaped you
until we teamed up.
When drought dug in its heels,
the cottonwoods in my backyard
dropped their leaves
and bared their chests.
Soon the cottonwoods
teemed with life
I couldn’t see:
the cottonwood trunk,
now a soundboard
for the woodpecker’s drill.
Spread the tablecloth!
Roll out the picnic blanket!
The glass bottles in the cellar
may glisten, but it’s in the pouring
out that we are one.