Friday Poem


Once, there was no word
for blue. To aborigines,
the sea was green
like cypress, like so many
species of locust.
And the moon
was the face of a clock
set in a forest night.

So what is the word
for us? For the sky
when it opens itself up
to the gold flash
of a bird, to the black
silhouette of a palm
frond? For that moment,
after so many moons,
when two people are culled
from their far, dark
corners of woods
to a pinpoint
on this grid of earth?

What do I call it—
this place we inhabit?
After roaming that terrain
of root and smoke,
to arrive, our feet
caked in dirt, eyes
full of green—
to the flash of the gold bird,
that piece of flame
in a blue sky?

by Ja'net Danielo
from 2River View
Fall, 2016