No. 8-9


Patty Crane  

Picking Basil in the 
Late Summer Dusk 

Tarnished at the edges 
polished under a moon so full
even the hair on my arms 
silvers in the damp air

And don’t those bats
swooping out from the eaves
look like tin origami 

And the crickets 
don’t they sound metallic tonight 

a hint of rust in their hinges

Back to the Swarm

I awake deep inside a well,
bathed in velvet yellow light.

I have come far, I think,
and from a world less still.
Above me, sky holds its blue
arms open         and waits. 

My legs are thread. My wings,
limp and folded. My abdomen, 

weighted with dust. I am light-
drunk. Pollen-drunk.   I could 

go back to sleep—this body, 
dust. But I urge its heaviness up

and up the blossom’s throat, 
for my work is half done. I must

keep singing. Must make of this,
my cargo, something sweet.

Wood Sorrel

Winter still on my breath,
I am snow’s ghost 
veined with the blood 
and promise of spring. 

What is it you want
when you forget to look down.
Here, under the leaf litter, 
these woods quake with my pink.

Once I believed in you—
your cheek to the moss, 
a pocketful of stones,
initials etched in bark. 

No urgent need to name. 
But you have shrunk 
in your haste to pass over 
what is not new. Tell me, 

what is not new. Each day 
I open to a world more 
and more lush. And each evening 
when I close, I vow to tell the ground 

nothing, that it might lose track. 
That I might last. But all of this,
how can I keep it from my roots.




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