In the riddle of the meadow
a farmer appears, for once
without a daughter. He is seen
stirring wooden buckets
overflowing with lye. Still later
he carries other gray buckets
in the heat of the day
toward the skeleton of a house
with improbable laughter
spilling from its lips. In his eyes
there is the palimpsest of a white dress.
The rest is a dream: the thin mouth
of a fox caught in a final pirouette,
a single red webbed foot
secure in its clenched teeth. Still
there must be something more,
something else that stirs light
from stillness in the flat lineage of the wall.
A large-breasted woman
whose stubborn hands will not be
moved from her hips, stands
welcoming whatever gives its life.
She might cough and in the fatal garden
of madness, give over to the taste
with such a diffidence
that even her husband could smile.
Her faith is a gravity
slowly lowering itself to earth.
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