See you in September

A poem in which I manage to condemn, in the space of one quatrain, both ISIS & Miley Cyrus.

(Some background : my maternal grandmother was born in West Branch, Iowa.  There is a statue of the goddess Isis in a park there.  Herbert Hoover was also from West Branch; the statue was a gift from the Belgian government for his services to their country after World War I.)


This delicate native wanderer
like a dusty monarch (rusty-
orange) might just be
traveling incognito somewhere –

on white-winged moccasin, from
flower to flower – her agate
glance like Grandma’s (great) –
in West Branch, near the Iowa farm.

I dream of a different Isis there,
no punitive Hooverville;
another Cyrus too (there will
be no clicking Mileyhahas to prepare

with die-cut revelry your family’s
despair).  She will be veiled
only with cloudy knowledge
of the bright round pearl; salt seas

will anchor plumb her understanding;
Solomon will test
& be tested, & she
will best him (at the Ontario Fling

& other things).  A whippoorwill
accompanies their evening;
Caroline will be singing
like a wren from the oaks, a royal

Charlie... like a gal you met once –
Cal? – along the shore...
– that lacustrine circle where,
of yore, the monarch floats, hunts...


"Isis.  Goddess of Life"

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