Poems by H.R. Webster

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Estuary

by H.R. Webster

From Canary Summer 2017

H.R. previously lived just above the salt line on the Hudson River. She currently lives and teaches in the Huron River Watershed.

I.
the train traces
the waterway
leaving only
a lace slip
of land busy
with broken
springs and boys
imbalanced by
5 gallon buckets
of pale belly eels
this is the end
of the world
my mother
spoke so often
of sliced
to seam
allowances
heavy with
kudzu virginia
creeper moss rose
and lamb’s
quarters
(the famine
food the cure
for boils
and snake bites)
the loose-bowled
hours empty
themselves
into the river basin
the coyotes mate
with the wolves
their heats a season
lost across
the thin lip
of fen and fern
the sumac margins
the bat-lack shallows
of forest
the conductor
speaks the
silt soliloquy
of stations.
listing becomes
most painful
when there is
so little left.

II.
from the express
train it is easy
to miss the shift
of seasons newly
inarticulate
to miss
the curlew
the chestnut
moth the
chaffseed and
milkvetch
loss comes with
the bold rust
coated kits in
the den behind
the house the
jawbone terminus
of the migration
route to a new
latitude the river
valley broken
like a white
china cup
the sound
barrier pressed
against the purring
motorway its
base shrine
of plush bears
and plastic
lilies a gilt rim
of forgiveness
for these failures
these slim
meridians
now there is only
the lilt of the salt
line the litany
of lichens a folk
cure for catastrophe
and passing
small station
time for releasing
the muscle
which holds
a shard
in the fist.




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