Heat and the ants on the thatch of a wicker mat,
you slip into the river like a lily,
bare to the waist, vine hair draped in pale tangles.
Colored pebbles roll smooth beneath your feet,
the fragrance of lilacs sways from the bank,
the water of blackberries, redolent,
the pierce of a blackberry thorn where we bled.
Sun buzz like cicada song in the overhanging trees,
the willow tree glint emblematic
as the thin wing mark on your arm turns to bronze.
June air and the flame azalea lights the mountainside,
the river becomes a circle at your emergence,
the branches curl and bend with the river emerging,
a green bird takes the ring of your palm to the sky.
John Swain - Kentucky