A Future with Hope

In threads of moss and potato vines
grimy sidewalks, chain-link fence,
a convincing dampness, on leaves,
on roots, under the eaves of houses.

Branches bar the black-oak sky.
Crows and grackles bear what
yellow light there is. Between
wrought iron gates, a slight wind.

Leave hope there where it belongs,
on the other side of the levee
where later it can be found easily,
its weight, bread crusts on water.

But here in the middle,
between the slow river
and cypress, stands a single blue
heron, barely moving. Watch.


Martha Serpas
from her book The Dirty Side of the Storm
W.W. Norton, 2007

used with permission of the poet

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