1. Green of Late June

    The trees bow down, bow
    down and dusty weeds
    rise up to meet them. The wisteria
    along the fence sends greedy tendrils
    to snare what passes by
    and I, keeping my record,
    surprise myself by being here at all.

    But is there any other place to be?
    America, the world, the universe
    —children addressing letters

    The emperor Akbar said
    seeing the Valley of Kashmir,
    “If there is Paradise on earth
    it is here, it is here, it is here.”

  2. White

    The nurses wear white pants and flowered shirts,
    no longer bound to starchy uniforms,
    quaint caps. Friends drift in and out
    on their way to the bookstore, the Cape,
    wearing new white shorts and blouses. They bring me
    the elusive flora and fauna of their—oh fortunate—lives.

  3. Feet

    My feet—last vanity
    two bloated pigs.
    Elastic stockings, so tight
    my husband has to tug them on.
    I, who put polish on my nails
    and went barefoot all summer.

  4. Present

    Is this the same who, every morning
    reaches her arms out to her husband,
    looks eagerly out the window, and
    gives thanks for the enormous present
    of another day?