Two Poems

by D.A. Powell


In the Garden

Among the almost roses,
pruned to the quick but starting back,
the sticking points their barbs
as sharp as politics.

Why cultivate the cutting
spike in things? Isn’t glory
its own reward. Deer don’t heed
the point’s forthrightness, anyhow,
nor mortared mossy stones
of the surrounding walls.

We note the flowers, in-bred,
pedigreed as queens,
await the transparencies of spring
still missing heads
from last year’s guillotine.
Anyone can guess at what it means.

—for Samiya



::Who knows how he got free, this wedge of amber,
this petal of soft violet, buckskin, puritan gray::
the buttered boy in his prison cell hoped to fly away
so he shrank until he could squeeze through the bars
at night and marry the moon in a lurid field::

::Mary, alight, the kids would say as they released him.
Behold the body at the hour of resurrection::
the light behave in the most peculiar ways. Seeing him
transform, risk flight, prevail above terrestrial beds::


Photo credit

About D. A. Powell

D. A. Powell's most recent collections are Repast (2014) and Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys (2012), both from Graywolf Press. A 2016 Civitella Ranieri Fellow, Powell lives and works in San Francisco.

Photo credit—Matt Valentine

D. A. Powell

D. A. Powell is online at