Sorrow Is My Own Yard

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o
e
m
s

What I worship both wartime & pax in low country

 

is sweat
& pay-dirt & death to the tea tax

 

& any day I want now I can say to my captors

 

tomorrow, you watch
we’ll be the end of America

 

& history with horseshoes for eyes

 

with ice in her beard
with shoes filled with salt

 

it’s history who’ll prove me a shrewd man

 

It’s history who’ll pin the wine-dark heart
to my breastplate for free

 

 

But miles off, miles off tonight in the lemon trees

 

(the newspapers
catch in the branches some nights like a straw bale will

 

catch in the threshing machine)

 

will my captors permit me to listen for my obituary

 

Will it rustle far off in the footnotes at the end of low country

 

Will they permit my life
to write my life its obituary

 

Defeaters, defeaters, I am living tonight
for that rustling

 

I am living tonight for the threshing machine

 

Forever I am living in springtime when my life’s like my tea:

 

I want to take it in her garden

 

I want to take it black

 

I want to take it, defeaters
among my lawfully wedded’s lemon trees

 

Danniel Schoonebeek is the author of American Barricade and Trébuchet.

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