Even the birds have tongues.
I've seen hummingbird's, fine as a hair,
slip out to catch the nectar from the fuchsia,
have seen fledgling woodpecker's tentatively taste
from the birdbell at my window.
Tongues sliding on saliva.
Healing water from our mouths,
healing water all were born with ,
salvia salvation, living water,
humble, intimate, vibrant, vital.
Tomcat licking his wounds after a fight,
my mother licking her finger, rubbing the dirt off my nose...
Saliva, shining my lips and teeth,
cleaning my glasses, sucking my cut finger,
Christ's saliva on the blind man's eyes.
More humble than tears,
how did you come to be flung out
of the mouth of scorn?
(published in the March 15,2008 issue of Commonweal)
Pulling up the Vines
Wild grape ,aristocratic leaves and tiny purple berries,
English ivy, dignified and sturdy,
Creeping clematis, profuse and pungent white flowers,
Honeysuckle, seductive, heavy, waxy yellow flowers,
and Poison Ivy, those shiny red then green glossies.
Gloved , armed with clippers, I tear them from the smothered juniper.
Snarling, I charge them as I wrench them:
Get off the azaleas!
Bouncy and fragrant with galloping photosynthesis,
they pull away in long loops.
they wilt slowly,
piled in a mountain by the trash can.