© 2005 - 2008 Per Contra: The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and Ideas.
I have stood so long in this place
I have lost account of my face.
I have stared so hard at this tree
I am grown blossomy.
In my branches, words
Bicker like birds.
We went to gather beach plums while the moon rose
Tremulous, large, impatient from the sea,
Turning our pails to canisters of silver,
Making a fable of the fruit-thick tree.
The sea in glimmering cowl paced back and forth
Chanting a watery “Anguish!” or “Rejoice!”
We had come to gather purple plums by moonlight
And we made our choice.
Sand holds the warmth of sun when day is over;
Rabbitgrass leans to the path the wind went through.
When we left there was moonlight paling over the water
And in our buckets, a plum or two.
The day I die
May not dawn fair
But, later, afternoon
A gawky breeze,
Touch your face;
And where you go
To choose my grave
Flowers will lie
All night for love—
Mosses and stones,
Leaves with the sun
Ablaze in their ribs,
And the soft, incon-
And so I’ll not
Leave you alone.
Three Poems by Elizabeth McFarland from Over the Summer Water (Arlington, VA: Orchises Press, 2008)