Chickamauga ~ Charles Wright, Poet Laureate

CHICKAMAUGA

Chickamauga

Dove-twirl in the tall grass.
End-of-summer glaze next door
On the gloves and split ends of the conked magnolia tree.
Work sounds: truck back-up-beep, wood tin-hammer, cicada, fire horn.
___________
History handles our past like spoiled fruit.
Mid-morning, late-century light
calicoed under the peach trees.
Fingers us here. Fingers us here and here.
____________
The poem is a code with no message:
The point of the mask is not the mask but the face underneath,
Absolute, incommunicado,
unhoused and peregrine.
______________
The gill net of history will pluck us soon enough
From the cold waters of self-contentment we drift in
One by one
into its suffocating light and air.
_______________
Structure becomes an element of belief, syntax
And grammar a catechist,
Their words what the beads say,
Words thumbed to our discontent.

Charles Wright ~ Poet Laureate

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