By Michael Pettit
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Extra info for Cardinal points: poems
I hear his stillnesses, I hear his hammering. As if Page 67 he'd been lost in their footsteps, those they took instead of taking flight, those they took when burdened, when wondering what in the world to do with him, with me, with us all down here at their mercy. Weeds poke up from the rocky ground below. I'd say no one lives here but its red flag is up to the mailman, its red flag flies with word of some wondrous event or no event at all, I'll never know. I should stop, I should open the black mailbox and read it all feed and light bills, the note to a sister in Michigan, the long letter to a grandson serving overseas read it slowly, there in my car, as if, bone-tired, I were now home, the blue mountain lifting me and my few good neighbors on the Star Route high into the drifting clouds, lifting me on clear nights up beyond all the distant little lights on earth.
Did she think she'd go unnoticed, or what? Jack had his eye on her from the first day. Why not, they say, leaning over their tea, leave this routine of act and photograph behind? This knotty modern world's too perilous. They'll simplify, take to the countryside. They'll bring their oaken bucket and rock rock, wear their black coolie caps and nothing else. O wouldn't it be nice! Page 44 Willows Most romantic of trees, we bow before their deep insatiable love for watervoracious roots burrowing into wells and sewer lines, great black branching trunks lifting prophetic limbs high toward the cloud-streaked night sky, and everywhere falling water long breeze-blown skeins of willow leaves that are not tears, is not weeping though we look to these willows to comfort or cry with us as we turn away from or face the deep and eternal losses our lives deliver us.
Luckless, loveless, abandoned, he stands naked before cameras that can't record what in the heart sends him soaring. Willing to break his neck, the knight of faith will break nothing. He'll land on earth, ready for more bad news, the next back flip. Page 13 Men Wrestling. They both sport bushy mustaches, pot guts, meaty fists. They see hero and villain, Big Bill Haywood and the bad mine bosses going at it toe to toe in the street. They plan to travel on their winnings, on Big Bill's big left hand.