That first pen-tip touch
sprays fragments loose from nowhere
like a train print through a canyon
echoing an avalanche long after.
Itís like childrenís ears
falling in a furrow before the sun is shut
forgetting hide and seek when they hear
the crackling mystery of growing July corn,
or like fishermen roping in the sound
cocked for coconut musk in the making
when the first westerlies splash their wet calves
cold with promises of skipjack way beyond the reef,
or the barefoot boy deep in summer woods
searching for a tanager along a thicket creek
stilled by the grainy plash of an icy spring
bracing his fingertips with slow silver chrism.
Jerome L. McElroy
††††††††††† *Accepted in ByLine (November 2005).