The Tuesday Poem

Lisa Bickmore

Hill Country - Lisa Bickmore

The sheets shorn back, my hips at your mouth:

yesterday we bought white peaches near the Pedernales River, which runs

through the ranch where LBJ lived out the last years he had the prescience to know would be brief. Acre after acre he added

to the spread, to console a late despair. The fruit scents our room, where we’ve told ourselves the past is past, in this interval far from home.

A Sunday morning, this hotel room — we can afford to take it slow, even though the sky grays with smoke

drifting north from fires burning in Mexico. Another crisis, this time not ours. Not ours,the territory, the ranch’s soil which,

we were told, derives its dark strength from the river, its cycle of flood and decline, flood and decline.

No erosion, despite the fitful havoc —just laden trees and a profusion of blooms: evening primrose, bluebonnet,

wrinkled poppy, black-eyed Susan, thistle, wild cosmos, and over all of it, the birds fly, swoop and dive.

We’ll take our cue from them, the peaches now spilling from their flimsy sack. You’ll lift

your face to me, move up and over me nearer, your lips and beard stained with juice, the pulp and flesh of your tasting, eating.

* Lisa Bickmore lives in Utah. She has published one book of poems, Haste. This poem was highly commended in last year’s Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition, which is open for entries. for details.


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