Almond no more. Blackberry blanked out. Cheetah cast off.
But if no acorn, because the young will use language for nature less,
by that logic, no arousal, brief surge of blood that cannot continue
but lets lives be conceived. If no bluebell because flowers are fleeting,
no beauty to begin with for these bodies which wither. If no cygnet,
the downy being preceding permanent feathers, then no childhood
since those who are sheltered under a wing cannot stay, not the same.
As we might wish mother, many children’s earliest word, will always
be one they hold in mind, can we not let their mouths keep
mistletoe, minnow, and magpie? Leave a few things intact,
allow the possibility of turning books’ pages in reverse
to lobster then leopard then lark, to the letter of last—of lasting—of live.
Read more poems by Rose McLarney by purchasing a print or digital copy of the May/June 2017 issue here.