Eve Jones The 2River View, 9.1 (Fall 2004)
Naming the Roses

Mid-afternoon, and
everything presses down,
sun swelling massively,
a long bloom on the hours. Its tongue
licks our breath. I walk,
carrying my son, gypsy-haired and hipped
and slowly
through the grass of the yard.
The solstice has come, gone—
a tiny triumph of light.
We walk along the fence.
We move through each shadow,
creatures of the earth, naming each thing:
clouds long as the bones of fish,
silver-skinned leaves, berries
in red slips, tubes of squash pushing,
pushing the dirt.
Bees stamp in their soft houses.
The sun slides down its tongue.
I lift my son to the roses, saying rose,
pink rose,
showing his hand,
the way music is guided into air,
suddenly, a name for what we love
just beyond us.

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