Glosa on Vita Sackville-West’s “The Land”
It’s a photo, black and white, Easter 1962,
two small girls beside their tall Daddy
in our spring wool coats, stone-grey as a mare’s hide.
That was a spring of storms. They prowled the night.
We weren’t church-goers. We’d just been to the zoo,
the stony paths in Central Park under my glossy Maryjanes.
Baboons stared at us with their near-human eyes.
Low-level lightning flickered in the east.
A box of Cracker Jacks clutched in one hand,
I wondered if the pensive, kind giraffe
could really read my thoughts like my sister said.
The white pear-blossom gleamed
and shuddered with the chill of wetted wind.
I reached for my sister’s hand, the clouds knotted
over Central Park. Soon, everything would change.
And we stood motionless in the flashes just before the rain.