WHEN THE TEMPERATURE CLIMBS
The pond’s gone green with city summer,
ducks stunned by heat, their lazy dips
marbling the algae. Two lovers press
right side to left on a bench, willing
to launch possibilities’ light dragonflies,
even over murk. The Linden flowers
have oxidized to rust, a seasonal mehndi
on a baby’s rump, while a homeless man suns
beside a recycling bin tipped horizontal,
a peaceful companion. Why not
let the heat forge new alliances?
Each seems happy, lost to dreams.
I’m reluctant to leave this idyll,
the sun gentled by overhang. Once home,
Eden will go down to fan-whir. I’ll turn
and wish myself elsewhere,
a backwards-looking pillar of salt.
(for Mary Bateman, 1806)
Gathered from coop-straw, the hen’s eggs
herald the second coming in intricate script
from dark cloaca.
The serving girl’s hand trembles as she sets each
into her basket, shakes like the parson’s hand
when he lifts them for a look.
One after the next emerges with a squawk,
every sinner in the village dumbstruck
for a penny.
At night, my own hand trembles as I work
new prophesy, ink barely dry, back
inside the hen.
But for my growing heap of coins,
I, too, would almost
Devon Balwit lives scarily close to the Cascadia Subduction Zone. She has six chapbooks and three collections out in the world. Her individual poems can be found here as well as in journals such as The Cincinnati Review, apt, Posit, Cultural Weekly, The Sugar House Review, The Carolina Quarterly, The Timberline Review, Fifth Wednesday, The Free State Review, Rattle, etc. For more, see her website at: https://pelapdx.wixsite.com/devonbalwitpoet