By Jennie R. Leishman
A long-toothed woman has lain in this field all winter, Waiting for the earth to take her Back, waiting to melt like the snow, To water the spring Lilies, then rise up in a thousand Nodding white heads She has come to this field for years. As turkeys thaw on kitchen counters And tine white lights go up all down Main Street, she pulls On an old brown sweater that used to smell Of cigarettes and Old Spice, stuffs Her pockets with old photographs and jewelry, Shuffles away, full of faith, humming Some old ditty from when she was a girl. She always leaves the front door open. On the sidewalk, brides saunter, holding Hands with their young grooms Fresh from the chapel and smelling Of carnations and cream cheese mints; They hesitate and train To catch a glimpse of someone at the stove, Someone stretching out on a recliner In from of the television – suddenly they will want To hurry on, seeing the house Is really just a senseless head, mouth Propped open by a swollen tongue. In March you can go to the field And find the old woman rising, Hair matted and fat behind her head, skirt muddy and Wet. Thinking of passing again through the gaping, Mute hole her house, she’ll pause: Fingers clenched and eyes shut tight, she’ll try To shoot down roots and clutch The earth to her in a thousand tiny white fists.