The 2River View 17.3 (Spring 2013)

Kathy Davis

No Rain for a Spell

I know he’s coming, the man with the tractor,
so many fields around me harvested
already. Flower heads close to bursting on the timothy
out back, and here and there the reach of purple
clover, dandelion. Sometimes he cuts

the crop at night, headlights rude
through the bedroom window. The blade and rake
laying down row after row while I attempt
to sleep. Field mice and nesting birds in flight,
and you by my side, dreaming

undisturbed. He is taking, you would say,
what’s his. The hay left for days to dry
before it’s baled and hauled away. Horses
bending in their stalls to feed. I know a woman
who gathers summer weeds, weaves them

into bundles with buttons, needle, thread. Winter,
when the muse lurks in pod and root,
she presses pigment from the remnants,
brushes the meadow onto sheets of homemade
English ivy paper. Once in a foreign city,

you snuck us past an armored tank to reach
the restaurant in the alley just beyond. I can’t
remember what we ate, only the warm bienvenue
of the chef’s embrace, the lusty zest
with which he delivered food, plates laddered

up his arms, the sound of silver scraping dish
as we took in what he had to give.

Open Water

They push on through the swells,
the swimmers off La Jolla.
We track them, by the colors of their caps
to the buoy and back, caught up
in the race.
                  A dolphin leaps—
as if we could forget
what teems below the surface. Today,
you clasped my wrist, gently
over coffee and told me
you were sorry.
                          Harbor seals
have claimed the beach
at Children’s Pool, fouled the sand.
Some view it as a crime,
but still the tourists come.
                                          It’s a small thing,
what you have done, a petty grievance.
The swimmers shaking off the wet
as they emerge, the winners
lining up.
              How fast, yesterday,
we journeyed out to see the whales,
our small boat bucking chop
as we searched through the binoculars
for spray.
              I can’t forgive you yet,
there’s too much
pleasure hanging in the balance.  The sun
licks moisture from the breeze
and salts our flesh—
its heat so sinfully delicious.

Kathy Davis is the author of the chapbook Holding for the Farrier (Finishing Line Press 2007). She has been published in Barrow Street, Blackbird, Diode, The Hudson Review, The Massachusetts Review, and The Southern Review. She lives and works in Richmond, Virginia. contact