A Visiting Congregation
Words By C. C. Reid, Art By Gerd Altmann
Invasive bird, invasive branch. Heavy
is the tree with city kids, their eyes bright
as our yard’s starlings. The flockful kind. Youth
groups bussed to the corner-store church line up
this Sunday morning. You step through them all.
Bubbles jump up your bourbon bottle’s neck
like a level gone awry. A slant step,
wobbly in ankle-twisting boots, pregnant
until tomorrow. In the practiced shade
of the Tree of Heaven you lean against,
a forty-foot weed grown too deep to kill,
I pull at your arm to keep us moving.
Invited bird on invited branch. Red
light caught in the black of your undone braid.