Milk Glass Serenade

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet, nor you,

not yet born, your eyes and body of milk glass.


Here, let me

tell you an old saw:


A county of men filled a valley with lake, shaped

like an urn. They bestowed on it

a spillway, baptized The Glory Hole.

The surprising dark. A tunnel to the very center.

The oldest say you can see the steeple


in a dry year, impaling serous sienna.

For months, these men excised canned goods, locomotives,

the dead. Every Beware of Dog, gazebo, five-and-dime—


but left all ambitious underwater elms, which above-surface

had dropped off from Dutch elm disease.


Please become born, baby,

so I have someone to serenade. In kindness,

I’ll lie: lullabies moved from the valley,

with the children to whom they belonged.


When you lose your fresh pearl teeth

I’ll draw parallels to caverns in the hills.

And should you be unlucky enough to be beautiful,


I will tell you of the trees in this novel lake:

the forced dance, the bend

and break, trunks as carefully preserved as crow’s feet

in a wax museum grin. Trapped in line so thin, so dear


you cannot see it: the mobile of refuse, waving hello baby.