Brenda Butka: April, Taylor Hollow
Southern Legitimacy Statement: So. My husband once bought four hams from a man in Kentucky who can no longer enter his hams in the State Fair because no one else can win. Husband sold one ham to a psychiatrist friend, who gave it to Wendell Berry. There is no point to this story, nor to any of the many we tell.
April, Taylor Hollow
Leafing out, the trees blur in green mist,
celandine poppies bright fingerprints
at their feet. The persistent creek has hollowed dips,
roundels, arches into the limestone floor.
Waterleaf, twinleaf, spring beauties wander beside
blueeyed Mary, larkspur.
The trout lilies are mostly gone,
Jacobs-ladder has not yet arrived,
seersucker sedge returning, green fists
knocking along the slopes.
The pickup truck is stuck,
mud to the hubs,
at the bottom of the hill, and the guys
turn up late, raucous,
bat away the big dog, shuck
their dirty boots at the door, rattle the refrigerator for a beer.
No one wants to leave this talk
about tractors, drag chains, Buddha in Texas,
exactly when that shotgun was fired into the air,
the first hummingbird of the year, that time
the symphony conductor, a glorious specimen himself,
called you a bon vivant, how to identify
wakerobins, their three purple hands
folded, as in prayer–
not in belief, not in supplication–
simply a statement of
how things are.